“It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s – “
Honestly, I have no idea what it is. Could be one of this flying pigs everybody’s been talking about and wanting to see. Or someone’s finally invented those awesome hoverboards that were promised to us from “Back to the Future”. Okay, enough joking around.
That expression mentioned above has been a hot quote for several years now since around the 1960s. Do you know where it came from though? I honestly never thought about it until one day when I played a trivia game and found out it was actually for a “Superman” musical that debuted on Broadway in 1966. Coolness, right? Yeah, I thought it was pretty awesome to hear about it myself. Who would have thought that this awesome superhero used to be a musical! Would have loved to see that one myself but it way before I was born.
Well, even though I may not have been born before the fantasy hero fanatics came out, the degree of their popularity has always been rising. Or falling, depending on its fan base at the time. Honestly though, it really depended on what hero or superhero was able to catch your eye. Lots of kids at my age had a fascination for either Batman or Superman, the superheroes from the television. Others considered the more normal heroes of my time like the Ninja Turtles – Donatello, Raphael, Leonardo and Michelango – or even the Autobots from Transformers from the comics to be the best.
Of course, heroes didn’t only come from comics or television. There’s also stories, cartoons and movies that bring heroes to life, some you may have never heard of or considered being what you’d call “hero” for that matter. Certainly it is up to your imagination on whether or not they’re the best hero to ever come around or they’re just a big flop. Since the beginning though, heroes have been a part of our lives. Especially mine. Whether I’m enjoying the tales of good ole’ Robin Hood, the famous female Chinese warrior Mulan or the awesomeness of Marvel’s Captain America.
However, though we may enjoy those grand old (super)heroes, they wouldn’t really be heroes without one thing. Do you know what that is? No it’s not flying or x-ray vision nor are they all faster than a speeding bullet. Strength? Well, perhaps. Depending on whether you mean physical strength or the strength from within that helps heroes keep fighting. Actually, that is a good one if you think about it. Ah, and no, not capes either! Capes don’t make the hero! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to explain that one. “They aren’t a (super)hero without a cape!”. Actually, they are. Did Spiderman have a cape? No. Did Ironman have a cape? Absolutely not. So, capes are not the answer. The one thing these fantasy heroes needed to have were villains!
I feel that villains actually helped make the hero who they are. I know that Batman and Spiderman fought for the good of their cities, knocking down both criminals and crime rates. But there was always that one person or thing which could be considered the main enemy or antagonist that leads to such fantastic story lines. We discover dark secrets, harsh pasts, friend or foe becoming enemy or ally and more. I always bounce around in delight after learning new things about heroes whether I’ve known it was predictable or completely unexpected. There’s nothing like a villain to make the hero even greater!
So, as I’ve said, villains bring out the best in heroes, one of the reasons why we enjoy learning about them. There are different fantasy heroes and villains out there and my favorites might not be what you expect though as I am just that weird. (If you’ve read some of my previous works, you’d know that, ha ha).
Go ahead and check out a few of my favorite “Hero vs. Villain” pairings as you might be surprised who I consider “hero” and “villain”.
TMNT vs. The Shredder (“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”) – One of the best known enemy sets of all time for over four decades now. You got four mutated turtles who know the way of the ancient ninja, using their skills to fight against the evil Shredder, head of the infamous clan, the Foot Clan. Shredder – and Krang, depending on which series/movie/comic you enjoy – brings the ultimate clash each time they’re in front of one another. Plots are spoiled and the turtles save the day time and time again. And the best part about these heroes? They get to enjoy some cheesy pizza after a hard day’s hero work! COWABUNGA!
Robin Hood vs. Sheriff of Nottingham (“Robin Hood”) – There have been many tales about this particular person back in jolly ol’ England from around the time of Prince John and King Richard which was several centuries ago. The minstrel tales and music ballads dedicated to this person speaks of how he was an excellent archer (bow and arrow) and a thief – a rather villainous thing, right? – but apparently his thievery motto was “Steal from the rich, give to the poor”. His enemy around this time was a lawmaker – this is backwards, isn’t it – who didn’t agree with Robin’s attitude of stealing and continued plotting ways to capture him or even kill him. Of course, though the Sheriff was “just doing his job”, apparently he did his own dirty deeds and used his position of power wrongly. So, in this opposite case of hero vs. villain, Robin Hood will always hit the bullseye as one of my favorite heroes of all time.
Thor vs. Loki (“Thor” & “Avengers”) – These two are probably my ultimate favorite “Hero vs. Villain” pairing. Thor, a god, had been stripped of his godly powers by his father, Odin, after going against his wishes and exiled to Earth. Meanwhile, Loki, Thor’s adopted brother, ascends the throne and attempts to gain the favor of Odin. But his evil deeds put Asgard in danger, enticing Thor to return and stop him. In “The Avengers”, Loki was also the main villain with a serious need for revenge. Thor had joined the Avengers team to help stop him once more after Loki opens a gate/bridge and unleashes a horde of inhuman beings on Earth. Though it wasn’t really Thor who put Loki down, but the Hulk, these two still craved the fight. The clash between these godly brothers in both films amazed me to no end, each with their own reasons to fight, but only one who made the right choice.
Goliath vs. Thailog (“Gargoyles”) – After the capture of Demona, Goliath’s first love interest in the series, she worked alongside Dr. Sevarius and David Xanatos, gathering each of the gargoyle’s DNA. What Sevarius created was a clone clan, gargoyles just like them, to fight and possibly be able to get rid of Clan Wyvern once and for all at Xanatos’ request. The leader of the crew was none other than Goliath’s clone known as Thailog (that’s Goliath spelled backwards. Neat, huh?). As the other clones were able to find peace with clan, Thailog did not and worked with Demona scheming time and time again. It was always Goliath who went against him, almost like a father fighting against his own son. It was almost never-ending until the clones were struck with some kind of dying virus and could not be cured. Thailog always hated Goliath, but in an act of pure bravery, he actually saved them. Yes, saved them. As they were once enemies, Thailog seemed to soften up at the end of his own life. Though this may not seem much of a “Hero vs. Villain”, the fact that they were practically family and fighting against one another in cruel ways makes them part of my fave list.
Well, you’ve read a couple of my faves. What about you?