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To be a superhero, must your parents die!

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posted on Jun, 13 2007 @ 07:35 AM
I was just thinking about superheros, and in particular, some of the films that have been made over the years.

It occurred to me that most of them are orphans, or have at least one parent that usually died in a nasty way.

Here are some that I thought of off the top of my head:

Superman: parents died when home planet was destroyed.
Batman: parents shot by the joker.
Daredevil: father killed by Kingpin.
Hulk: mother knifed in stabbing accident.
Spiderman: can't remember, but an orphan I'm sure.
The Punisher: whole family gunned down on beach.(ouch)!

I'm sure the list goes on, there must be hundreds of superheros and I was wondering if some of you could fill in the gaps and maybe give some ideas as to why this is.

Just something I was interested to know more about.



posted on Jun, 13 2007 @ 08:31 AM
Classic life changing event that causes them to express themselves and how they have been affected by the event through becoming a super hero it's like therapy and they don't want anyone else to suffer the same, etc. fight the good fight..bring justice where the cops can't...etc. etc. lol

posted on Jun, 13 2007 @ 09:05 AM
Yup, these deaths are motivations for these people to become superheroes.
Especially with Batman and Spider-Man.

In the comics Batman's parents were murdered by a mugger named Joe Chill. This was his motivation to train himself to be the best he can be to fight crime in his city of Gotham.
Spider-Man never knew his parents he was raised by is Uncle Ben and Aunt May. Similar to Batman his Uncle was murdered. However He was already endowed with his super powers and had a chance to catch the criminal before he murdered his uncle. That guilt pushed him to be a superhero.

posted on Jun, 13 2007 @ 02:34 PM
Superman: parents died when home planet was destroyed.
- Yes but that is not what made him a hero... It was his foster parents on Earth that raised him to do the best he can to help his fellow man. It just turned out his best was pretty freaking heroic!

Batman: parents shot by the joker.
- Did you get all these from a movie? Do you really want to discuss it? You should look up some .cbrs and actually read some comics sometime...

Daredevil: father killed by Kingpin.
- For not throwing a fight. Was it actually the Kingpin? I kind of don't think so. Again, are you getting this from the movie?

Hulk: mother knifed in stabbing accident.
- Ha-Ha, lol, ROFLMAO "stabbing accident"!!! Priceless!
- This is actually retconned into the story by a fairly recent author (either Spawn creator what's his face the hack, or Peter David. I would guess Peter David. They wanted a good reason for the Hulk to be so angry, so he went to therapy and found out he witnessed his mother murdered by his father... This by the way takes place nearly 30 myears after the Hulk has been created.

Spiderman: can't remember, but an orphan I'm sure.
- yes orphan, but like Superman Spider-Man (that's how you spell it, with a hyphen) isn't motivated by the death of his biological parents. Unlike Superman, Spidey IS motivated by the death of his foster parent.

The Punisher: whole family gunned down on beach.(ouch)!
- Gunned down in Central Park.
- Again there is a little retconning in the current series that explains he was possed in Vietnam with some kind of violent (murderous) temper to begin with BEFORE he came home and watched his family gunned down.

I'll be back with a list of chars that are heroes without grief.

posted on Jun, 13 2007 @ 03:01 PM
Characters NOT motivated by grief far out weigh those that are. I mean come on "my parents were killed, now I MUST seek revenge and that is why I am such a badA" is pretty freaking trite...

Kitty Pride
Woverine (until his retconned Origin storyline)
Jeane Grey (until much much later, well after her superheroic carrer had taken off)
That's just a few Xmen off the top of my head. There are quite a few that follow the grief thingy though (Storm, Rogue, Gambit)

All the Fantastic Four
- Dr. Doom's mommy is in hell and he needs to save her soul, but lets stick to the good guys.

Thor (his dad died a LOOOONG way into his comic carrer)
Iron Man
Capt. America
Scarlet Witch
Henry Pym
The Wasp
There's some Avengers

Most Green Lanterns (Kyle's girly was murdered but well after he was a GL).
Hawkpeople (ok there is some old unrequited love from past lives grief in there on a few of them, but hey who doesn't have that).
Atom (heh, there's some really bad crap that happens in his life, but it is after becoming a hero)
Green Arrow
There's some JLA

Hey 2 things:
1st THANK YOU for bringing some comic book discussion. Everytime I look at this forum it's all comic book movie discussion and lets face it, a 2 or 3 hour movie is not as rich as a 40-60 year old story line!
2nd If you want to see grief driven characters I would look at the Flash! the golden age Flash and the silver age Flash are just 2 regular guys fighting the good fight. But one of them dies in the 80's and set the ball rolling... Now every Flash since (ok there's only been 2, but I wouldn't put the red speedo on) has taken the place of a fallen friend...

posted on Jun, 13 2007 @ 06:44 PM
Thanks for the comments peeps. Especially to whargoul, you seem to know your stuff!

I am the first to admit.....I don't. Please don't chastise my ignorance, I am here to learn.

I have never really been much of a comic reader but have enjoyed the ones lent to me by a couple of collector friends over the years, one had his own, he let me read a first edition "superman" No.1 (under strict supervision, it was worth about £10,000 at the time!). I was always a little lost when it came to borrowing from them and choosing something, and usually stuck to the classics.

It's interesting how hollywood seems to re-write the more famous of the heros to fit in with their own concepts. Even the spelling of "Spider-Man" has been apparently"doctored"!

I started this thread to take my own thoughts a little further and to see if my view of some of the "heros" was based on some "recipe for revenge". Although not all of the characters would have the same motivation, I did wonder just how many have lost parents at the hands of villains and I now realise that other family members should come into the equation.

Maybe the title of this thread should have read "what drives a super hero?"

I must admit, I have got a bit bored with some of the hollywood "take-offs", especially the sequels and the sequels to the sequels!

And why DO they change important facts from the original stories, don't they realise that they wouldn't be making these films if the stories weren't brilliant in the first place! They have to put their "stamp" on it.

Perhaps "Spiderman" makes an easier google search, or "The Punisher" lost his family on a nice sunny anonymous beach instead of Central Park because it was too expensive and politically incorrect to be running around New York shooting the place up!

Ah well...............long live the heros, and they certainly do.

(Sidenote: how many superheros have died? The "Flash" was mentioned. Any others?)

Good stuff & thanx.

posted on Jun, 13 2007 @ 08:51 PM
Captain America( recently ). He was assassinated; Superman when he fought Doomsday; I think Morph from X-Men died, when the sentinels were attacking; Spider-man( though he is not dead ) he retired last I heard in the comics one of his legs was either broken or lost so he retired and let his daughter take over the family business. If I remember any others I'll post again.

God Bless

posted on Jun, 14 2007 @ 04:23 AM
Spider-man eh.....lost a leg, well he's got seven more, why worry.

(sorry, I had to).

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