The Importance of the Ordinary Superhero

6:31 PM


I promise, my Civil War review is coming next Saturday. I need some time to gather my thoughts. Until then...


I wanna rant about something important to me: 

The ordinary hero.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big superhero fan in general. I love Cap and Iron Man and Star-Lord and alllll the Avengers. I really, really do. But they're not the ones that attract me most of the time. My top three Marvel heroes (and superheroes in general) would have to be Scott Lang (Ant-Man), Clint Barton (Hawkeye) and Matt Murdock (Daredevil). 

(as much as I do enjoy MCU Clint he's not what I would call my favorite, so in general when I'm talking about Clint Barton/Hawkeye here I'll be referring to Matt Fraction's Clint. If you haven't read those comics pleaseee do so.) 

What do these dudes have in common? Unlike most Marvel heroes, they're not larger-than-life. They probably couldn't save the galaxy on their own. Out of the three of them only Matt has been changed biologically and has "superpowers", and the extent of that is his super-senses that help to compensate for being blind. None of them can survive being thrown into buildings. They're not super-strong. They're not millionaires. They're not known worldwide and hailed as heroes. They operate on a street level. Their goals are a little less ambitious, a little less dramatic, and I love that
seriously, what a dorkface.
If you know anything about me you know that I can't stand the "chosen one" trope. I have a harder time with characters who are important/special/super/larger-than-life. I love Cap, I really do, and I love him for who he is, but he just doesn't hold my fascination the way these three dudes do. I've always been fascinated by the little guy, the ordinary people trying to figure out how to function in an extraordinary world, the people who have to work for it, the people who have normal lives and things they care about. The people who are confused and emotional and all that good stuff. I think that's important. Super important.

Scott Lang fights with the Avengers, yeah. (By the way he was, like, my favorite part of Civil War. Oh my gosh.) But he's not exactly a part of all the big drama. Scott is a dude who made mistakes. He has a daughter he loves very much, and more than anything he wants to take care of her, but he doesn't know how. He's reckless and confused and a little lost. He has this suit now, and he knows how to use it, but he's fairly down-to-earth. The relationship between him and his daughter Cassie has always meant a lot to me in a way? Everything he does, he does for her. He doesn't necessary have grand aspirations of saving the world. I love that. 
THEY ARE THE CUTEST I WILL FIGHT YOU ON THIS
Clint Barton, mainly the Matt Fraction comics version, has always meant more to me emotionally than any other hero. He's an ordinary guy -- bruised, a little broken, not sure what he's doing -- trying to figure out how to be a part of the Avengers, a part of all this crazy stuff that goes on in a world of superheroes. But when it comes down to it and he gets home he's a guy who needs sleep and probably another visit to the hospital. I'm of the strong personal opinion that this Clint deals with some level of depression, and I get it. Fraction shows it to us through the color scheme, the focus on ordinary life rather than him fighting with the Avengers, the struggle for him to even get up and fight most days. He's frustrated and confused and just a guy trying his best. He has friends who support him in this and push him to be better. This comic focuses on everyday at-home Clint Barton, Normal Guy. That's so, so important. 
this panel, tho.
Matt Murdock. Oh my gosh, Matt Murdock. I'm almost caught up with Daredevil, and I have to say he's the thing that means the most to me in the whole show. Yes, he has "super senses" -- but he's also blind, and gets the crap beaten out of him on a regular basis. He's allowed to cry (and really cry, not just dramatic action-hero-tears). He has strong, healthy friendships with people that mean a lot to him. He manages just a few blocks of the city and does it super well. He's religious and that's openly shown (amen). He's allowed to be vulnerable, and emotional. He genuinely tries to do the right and moral thing. He's a man struggling with right and wrong and his own emotions and the people around him and how to balance being Matt Murdock with being Daredevil. It's really incredible.
sweatshirt matt is my favorite matt.
I feel like this type of hero is crucial. We have to have our Hulks and Captain Americas and Visions, even, but when it comes down to it, I'll take a normal dude any day. They inspire me, because they have to work hard. They try to do the right thing and it makes me wanna do the right thing too. They do things not because they're hailed a hero and have the whole world watching them, but because they make the choice to do the right thing. they're always sassy and hilarious. I've always felt like the dorky ordinary person in the middle of people with talent, and that's exactly what this is. Ordinary people being 100% extraordinary.

Basically, I need way more of it.


How do you feel about the "ordinary superhero"? Who's your favorite?

19 comments

  1. SCOTT LANG AND HAWKEYE ARE THE BEST. But mostly Scott. Mostly Scott. *nodnod* He's like the one guy who appreciates the fact of being a superhero. Plus him with Cassie. And the humor of his blunt observations. He's just awesome. I'm pretty annoyed that there wasn't more of him in Civil War, honestly.
    "I do this all the time! Well... I did it once... in a lab... and I passed out... but still!"
    But now I want to see Daredevil if you're clumping him in with these dudes...

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    1. Oh my gosh Scott's enthusiasm over being a hero gives me life I love it. xD *hugs him*

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  2. Basically I will never stop loving Hawkeye. xD

    AND I NEED TO SEE ANTMANNN BECAUSE YOU ARE ALWAYS FLAILING OVER IT AND I LOVED WHAT I SAW OF HIM IN CIVIL WAR SO I NEED MOREEE. *hurry up and come over so we can watch it together* *alll the happy flailing*

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    1. YES I CANNOT WAIT TO WATCH IT WITH YOUUU.

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  3. THIS. POST. Amen to this. Everything about this.

    As you probably know by now I have a lot of feels about these 3 characters, mostly Clint and Matt, but Scott grows on me more and more with each movie, honestly. These people are just general human disasters trying to do good. Half the time they aren't even really trying to be heroes. I mean Matt became a vigilante because he heard one little girl being abused - he didn't do it to become a hero, someone recognized. And like you mentioned about comic-Clint - I, too, am pretty sure he has some sort of depression. And I love that, I relate to that, and it's so different from MCU Clint and it's more the kind of character I love.

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    1. Allll the feelings. I'm sure you've heard me ramble about this before so I'll spare you, but it's so important. xD

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  4. Wow, I love this so much. Like, I don't have any concrete reasons. It just speaks to me. And I need to watch Daredevil because it sounds absolutely amazing.

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    1. You definitely should! It's an incredible show.

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  5. Ordinary superheros are the best. :) In Daredevil, I've found that some of my favorite characters aren't even the superheros (much as I love Matt) but people like Foggy, Claire, and Karen--the ordinary people caught in the middle of everything and just trying to do what's right.
    I don't think Batman technically qualifies as an "ordinary superhero", since the guy's a millionaire and all, but I do love that he has no actual superpowers. That's one of the main reasons I prefer him over Superman. Batman makes do with gadgets, but Superman has so many powers that he's almost invincible, and (to me at least) just not that interesting.

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    1. Omg yes! The ordinary characters are the most important, especially when they're treated like important people too. I'm a sucker for ordinary in superhero worlds. *nodnod*

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  6. Yes, you gotta love these three, I find them a lot more relatable than the other Avengers.

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  7. Okay, now I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to watch Antman and Daredevil...XD But yeah, I love Clint Barton very much so this post made me happy. Amen to everything you said. :D

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    1. You need to! Especially Ant-Man because that movie is a gift to the world.

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  8. OH MY GOSH, YES. YES. I love ordinary superheroes so much. Actually, often my favorite characters in superhero movies/shows are the side characters who have no special abilities whatsoever. And I love Scott and Clint.

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  9. I love ordinary heroes, too. Waaay more than the classic epic heroes, actually!

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    1. For real! They always interest me so much more.

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  10. Yes, this captures my thoughts on heroes perfectly. My character Dee in Devious Origins is pretty much this... I've described her as Batman without the money.

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hey. hey. talk to me. i'm a fan of comments and flailing with you. go for it.