This week's Poll Position question is:
Discussion after the jump.
I got to thinking about what makes a hero a hero. Is it the powers, the situation they find themselves in, a combination of the two, or something internal and undefinable? I wondered what would happen to a character who suddenly had either their powers, or their motivation for using their powers, taken away. Would they stop doing heroic things and settle down into a nice comfortable job filing the mail, or would they still be just as honorable and brave?
- You're Superman on a red-sun planet. Superman fascinates me. Does it still count as courage if you know you can't be hurt? What if all of a sudden, after a lifetime of being invulnerable, you were just as mortal as everyone else? I wonder if he'd continue his life of crime-fighting as a non-powered hero like his buddy Bruce, or if he'd simply pack it in and become a reporter full-time. Personally, I wouldn't want to choose this option, as without his powers Kal-El is kind of a bore and I've already got that in my real life.
- You're Professor Xavier on a planet where no one's mind can be read and there are no mutants. Professor X has built his entire life around serving and protecting mutant-kind. If all of that were taken away, and he couldn't read anyone's mind, what would he turn to? Clearly the Professor is a brilliant man, so I think he'd still be active and engaged on such a planet. He built Cerbero, after all, so he's clearly got an inventive streak that would serve him well no matter what. But, I think he'd probably feel a bit listless and at loose ends without mutants to look after, and so would probably end up defending some other oppressed group just as passionately. That'd be a good life for anyone to lead, comic book character or not.
- You're Batman on a crime-free planet. Bruce Wayne fascinates me just as much as Superman, and for the same reason -- neither one has a reason to exist outside their super-powers. Superman's abilities are all physical, but take away Batman's need to fight crime and I don't know if he could take it. Superman seems to be a case of "I have these powers, I might as well use them" while Batman is more "I must fight crime at all costs, it's who I am." Superman seems to almost be an accidental super-hero, while Batman is very much an intentional one. Of course Bruce is brilliant and talented (not to mention rich) so if I had to live in that life it wouldn't totally suck, but I honestly think he'd end up contemplating suicide pretty darn fast on a crime-free world.
- You're Iron Man on a planet where money doesn't matter. No money, no armor. No armor, no thrills. No thrills, no chicks. I'm just sayin'.
- You're Wonder Woman on a planet where men do not exist, just Amazons. This might be the easiest choice, since Diana existed for a long time in just such a state, at least as far as she knew. And she was pretty happy doing it. So going back to something like that wouldn't be the be-all, end-all for her. However, I include it because I wonder if she could make the choice now, knowing what she'd be missing.
Having said all that, probably I'd choose to be Tony Stark on the planet of no money. A guy that smart is going to be all right no matter what, and the lack of money won't ever take away fundamental human nature -- people will fight just as hard over non-monetary items, and in that kind of culture Tony excels.
I'm curious to hear what you would choose, and why, in the comments below.