Monday, September 01, 2008

Five Cool Superhero Day Jobs

It's Labor Day, I'm bored, do you really need an introduction to this concept? (By the way, I'm not counting “billionaire playboy” because, y'know, it's not actually a fucking job.)

Toy Designer/Manufacturer (Zachary Johnson/Jack-In-The-Box): Every grown-ups secret dream, to make a living playing with toys. What's double-cool about this is that Johnson then takes the toys he designs and reworks them as crime-fighting gadgets to use in his secret identity, like electro-shock clown noses and constricting confetti. One thing I'd like to see Kurt Busiek use if he ever goes back to the character, and he can totally have this idea for free, is a Viewmaster that's a set of long-range binoculars, and you can turn on the infrared viewing by clicking the little handle. (Suck on that, Christopher Nolan.)

B-Movie Actor (Simon Williams/Wonder Man): God, the Marvel Universe is such a great place. Where else could a failed industrialist with ionic powers go into the movie business? Not that Wonder Man has ever been one of Marvel's greatest stars, but the best take on him has definitely been as “Bruce Campbell with superpowers” during his Avengers West Coast/solo series days. And now that Hollywood is all hard for superheroes, now would be a great time to play with this again. Unfortunately, the Initiative makes this rather impossible, since now practically every superhero's day job *is* “superhero.” Except, of course, if you have your own book, in which case you're either an “unregistered” hero that, amazingly enough, Tony Stark never bothers to track down right to your workplace, even when he knows who you are (I'm looking at you, Danny Rand, CEfuckingO of Rand International), or you get “special dispensation” to lead a civilian life except in times of crossover. Way to piss away one of your universe's defining characteristics, Marvel.

Police Scientist (Barry Allen/Flash): Let's be honest, sports fans: Barry Allen got whacked because he was dull. But he didn't have to be. The Internet has been proclaiming that “police scientist” was a cool job since CSI got started, but the truth its, it was always cool. It's just that during the Silver Age, research was something that happened to other people, so none of the writers actually figured out how cool it was. Plus, this was DC, where day jobs and civilian life were rarely the focus. Mark Waid got it right, though, in JLA: Year One, when he showed Barry running a ballistics test and figuring out that the gun was a match by reading the markings on the bullet while it was still in flight.

Test Pilot (Hal Jordan/Green Lantern): Isn't this what every kid growing up in the '50s wanted to be? Every kid in the '80s, too, thanks to Top Gun. DC really dropped the ball on “reinventing” Hal's job back then, and they've done it now, too. He's still flying what are basically F-14s, which, while awesome (particularly when piloted by tyrannosaurs), are kind of old hat in a world that contains Batman's sci-fi closet. Hal should be flying experimental, freaky, cyberpunk-style shit, something so cool he would genuinely rather use it than his ring. “Wheee, I'm flying at speeds of one-millionth what I can do, unaided by any engine, in my other job!” Yeah, I don't think so. Hal's a thrill-seeker; give him some fucking thrills.

Taking Pictures Of Yourself (Peter Parker/Spider-Man): People who claim that Peter's defining characteristic is “loser” are forgetting that he won a small (sometimes a large) victory every time he walked into J. Jonah Jameson's office with an undeveloped roll of film. (You'd think Peter would have caught on that he'd make more if he didn't keep giving Jonah an excuse to take the cost of development out of his paycheck, but I digress). One of the few good bits of Peter unmasking during Civil War was Jonah's reaction. I mean, come on: Taking pictures of yourself with an automatic camera, then selling them to one of your worst enemies and using that money to buy yourself supplies so you can go out and do it again? As the kids today say, Pwned. If the rivalry between the Bugle and the Globe is anything like that between the Daily News and the Post, Barney Bushkin must have orgasmed when that hit the airwaves.

1 comment:

Darkness U.S.A said...

well a lot of those billionaire playboys have big companies to run even though they don't show them often like Bruce Wayne and i think green arrow