Superhero Origins

Comic Book Superheroes

What’s better than reading about a comic book superhero? Watching a fantastic celluloid rendition of a superhero comic book! What’s even better is discovering that the superhero who just wowed you has an even meatier backstory. In honour of Iron Man 3 (which we think is a fantastic movie, by the way), here are some really cool superhero backstories.

Iron Man: Few people know that Tony Stark, son of Howard Anthony Stark and Maria Stark, graduated from MIT with two master’s degrees, at 19; and inherited Stark industries at 21, when his parents died in a car accident. Or that the first Iron Man suit he built, was built to keep his heart beating. Here’s how that story goes.

Stark, while testing weapons in Vietnam, is injured in an explosion and captured by the enemy; who then order him to invent weapons for them. Meanwhile, a piece of Shrapnel that entered his body during the explosion is making its way towards his heart. That is when, with the help of his cellmate, Professor Yinsen, he builds a battle-suit- with a magnetic field to keep the shrapnel from reaching his heart. Stark dons the suit, defeats his captors, and escapes… and Iron Man is born.

Batman: After watching his parents get killed in Gotham city’s Crime Alley, on their way back from a movie, heir to millions- Bruce Wayne, vows to avenge them. At 14, he embarks on a journey around the world to learn everything he needs, to avenge his parents- criminal psychology, criminology, forensic science and every form of fighting, from the people who can teach him best. On his return to Gotham, however, a defeated Bruce is rejected by the people he tries to protect. He then dons the bat-suit, and as Batman, succeeds in paralyzing his enemies… with fear.

Thor: Thor is one of several powerful beings from the magical realm of Asgard; who, from ancient times, have been worshipped as Gods. But when an arrogant Thor nearly starts a war with the Frost Giants- mortal enemies of the Asgardians, he is banished to Earth by his father Odin. He reaches Earth as a crippled medical student, Donald Blake, with no memory of ever having been an Asgardian. After spending ten years on earth, Blake, now a brilliant surgeon goes to Norway, where Kronans (alien beings) plan to invade Earth. Here, he flees to a cave and discovers a cane. On tapping the cane against the wall of the cave, Blake transforms into Thor, and the cane to Mjonir- a powerful, enchanted hammer that Odin gifted his son on his eighth birthday. Blake returns to New York, and as Thor, fights crime, and the evil machinations of his jealous brother Loki.

Superman: Superman is not an Earthling. Born Kal-El on the alien planet of Krypton, he is rocketed to Earth by his parents Jor-El and Lara, when they learn of the impending destruction of their home planet. During the last moments of his planet, Jor-El places young Kal-El in the spacecraft and launches it. Moments after the infant leaves the planet, Krypton explodes, transforming the planetary debris into a radioactive substance called kryptonite- the one thing that is lethal to Superman. The spacecraft lands in Kansas, where he is found and adopted by Jonathan and Martha Kent. As he grows up, Clark and his adoptive parents discover his super powers. Guided by his loving adoptive parents, Clark learns to use his powers for the good of humanity, and becomes Superman.

If these backstories are anything to go by, maybe Peter Parker (who, incidentally, developed super-powers when he was bitten by a genetically modified spider) knew something when he said what he did…

Who am I? You sure you want to know? The story of my life is not for the faint of heart. If somebody said it was a happy little tale, if somebody told you I was just your average ordinary guy, not a care in the world, somebody lied.

What do you think?



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