Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Great Canadian Superhero

"There is something about Canada that resists superheroes," says Jeet Heer (via ALD). I've got a few ideas what that "something" might be, but the largest, inescapable reason why our country hasn't produced a single superhero "fit to hold the cape of Superman or Batman" is: we don't have a New York City. Say what you will about superheroes being nationalist allegories (I won't argue), but if the United States didn't have New York City, they'd have never had superheroes, either.

I remember visiting Toronto when I was 16 and thinking, Spider-Man would have a territory of six city blocks to swing around in. After that he'd have to go on foot. You can't be "super" in a city like Toronto or Vancouver! And just try being super in Montreal or Halifax! People will see through that "super" disguise toot sweet, my friend: "'Super' is he? Ha! And him with the print of the pail still fresh on his arse!"

No, only in New York City does anyone get to be "super." 'Cos it's the world's first super city, doncha know.


trentreimer said...

Doesn't Edmonton have some kind of super Ukrainian who special perogy powers?

DarkoV said...

O.K., so it was college days and we all know how courses in Mythology, Heroes and Modern Life, and a case of Cinquante will combine to fuel an all-too-long conversation of something leading to nothing.

So, one faithful Friday evening back in the day, we had a suds-fueled and multi-book referenced conversation regarding super heroes and Canada. Well, more specifically, super heroes and Montreal.

Our conclusion was that it were possible if the following were to all come together at once.
1) The restaurant at the top of Mount Royal had a huge basement that could be used to stash your usual super hero gear, automotive and heli-wing products, jet-propelled X-country skis and ice-climbing clamps & hardware, and, since it's Montreal, a world class restaurant with only 2 tables.
2) Gilles "The Fish" Poison and his Robin, Jacques "Fish Eggs" Caviar and their occasional helpmate, Maurice "Mad Dog" Vachon were all available and full of their usual vinegar, vigor, and (joie de) vivre.
3) Crime would be limited to acts not necessarily associated with world domination or destruction. The latter would be left to the American super heroes, since they rarely thought locally but always globally.
4) Tights would be de riguer and, since these guys were used to wearing them in the ring, they would be worm all of the time.
5) For the occasional broken arm, head, leg and punctured thorso, lung RAMQ would do. In fact, one of the returning villains would actually be a Blob-ish looking character named RAMQ.
6) While bashing, thrashing, and mashing the criminal element, a certain level of politesse would be followed.
7) All adventures would inevitably end up at Henri Richard's Park Avenue Brasserie, because, as we all well know, 90% of the deed is in the telling and what better way to tell it than in the comfort of a Canadienne's memorabilia laden beer hall?

So, this was our Canadian super heroes solution, non of which was written down, drawn, or published. With your talents, you are more than welcome to any or all of the material if you are brave enough to solve the Canadian Super Hero drought.

With a draught, perhaps?

paul bowman said...

Gosh, I love this blog. — Even if a lot of the Canada stuff does go (as it were) right over my head.

ジョエル said...