So the Man of Steel landed in cinemas to mixed responses, the DC vs. Marvel battle continues. The Dark Knight Rises had cinemas filled to the brim last year and Iron Man 3 was with us earlier in the year and the reviews were polarizing, some loving it, some feeling disappointed by the twist. Regardless, it brought in the chi ching at the box office crossing the billion dollar mark worldwide and making Marvel smile to the bank once again after their record breaking success with The Avengers in 2012.
So what is it about Superheroes that thrills us? What is it about them that make us such devoted and loyal followers? Is it the capes, their selfless sacrifice? Constantly putting themselves in danger for the sake of the greater good? Or that they mostly happen to be ridiculously good-looking. Do we aspire to be like them and live vicariously through them?
What exactly makes a good superhero, after all, there’s a vast difference between Superman and The Hulk, or Thor and Blade.
I remember seeing Thor when it came out and thoroughly enjoying it , It got me wondering, what a Nigerian superhero would look like. What powers would he have and what kinds of crime would he solve. Thor made me think of his Yoruba counterpart Shongo; a thunder deity that also wields a weapon of power.
What kind of villains would he fight? Corrupt government officials, or villains created out of a faulty nepa line and contaminated water. What would he use his powers to do? They say, “with great power comes great responsibility”. Would one of them be, safely taking mama Ireti back to the Village with super speed instead of putting her on Chukwuemeka &Sons. Leading the neighborhood watch and turning armed robbers into mewling quims. Or would he do simpler things like save owambe parties from Nepa embarrassment, and get a little something for his troubles?
How would Lagos traffic affect superheroes that don’t fly or leap like the Hulk? Would the bank robbers get away while our hero is stuck trying to get to Ikeja through third mainland or Ikorodu road. Would his EkoMobile be stopped by Lastma officials with itchy palms. Would our hero save the day only to come back and find that his car is surrounded by area boys that want to chalo him, or would he be stopped by police asking him to identify himself. On discovery of his secret lair, will the Omonile demand that he pays them their right? Would Fashola tax him for the privilege of performing superhero duties in Lagos? Being a superhero in Lagos would probably be more trouble than it’s worth.