Superhero Self-Help

Sometimes when I am out for a run, my mind begins to wander. I usually like when this happens because if my mind is wandering I am not thinking about how much farther I need to go and how soon I can be done. While my mind is wandering, I often stumble on some unusual things. Yesterday, I started wondering what it might look like if superheroes wrote self-help books. Weird, right? I couldn’t get it out of my head, so I thought I’d flesh it out here with you. I am focusing today on the male superheroes – if there is interest, I’ll focus on the ladies next.

Here goes:

  1. Captain America: What can we learn from Captain America? Hell, he could write a ton about perseverance. Steve Rogers wanted desperately to be a soldier and go to war to fight for the United States. Unfortunately, he was on the puny side and had a number of health issues that precluded his ability to enlist. Did he give up? Nope. Now, admittedly, he ultimately used a super serum to turn him into a super soldier, but it was only his good nature and intrinsic sense of right and wrong that saved him from becoming a villain drunk on his own power. Captain America could write several books about not giving up and the importance of taking care of others – especially those who are weaker and in need of help.  Title: Letting out your Inner Super Soldier
  2. Power Rangers: I know a couple of these heroes are female, but for this blog, I am going with the majority male rule. These superheroes each wear a specific color jumpsuit and can fight individually, but when the battle gets really tough, they band together and fight even harder. Their book would promote the importance of friendship and being able to work with others. It would be all about how much more you can accomplish when you work together than you could ever dream of doing alone. Title: It’s Morphin’ Time!
  3. Thor: Mighty Thor is a warrior prince from the planet of Asgard. He has strength, endurance and resistance to injury that had caused him to be arrogant and selfish. Thor’s self-help book would be about the power of change – how you really can choose to become a better person. Through his time on Earth, Thor learned about the importance of protecting and caring for others. Title: The Power to Change is Stronger than Mjolnir
  4. Superman: Superman was sent from his home planet (Krypton) as an infant when the planet was about to explode. His parents sought to send him to safety – he landed on Earth and was taken in by an American family who raised him as their own. Despite his amazing abilities (super speed, flight, x-ray vision, heat vision, strength, and impermeability to injury), Superman has one great weakness – exposure to rocks from his home planet. These rocks are called Kryptonite take away all of this powers and make him an ordinary man. Superman’s self-help book would focus on the importance of having awareness of your weaknesses. He could write about how only in knowing our weaknesses can we overcome them. Title: In our Weaknesses, We Find Strength
  5. The Incredible Hulk: Bruce Banner is a scientist who is exposed to massive radioactivity that turns him into the Incredible Hulk whenever he gets angry. He could totally write a book about anger management. Much of Bruce’s later journeys focus on learning to manage his reactions to people and situations, so he can control when and where the Hulk appears. Title: Anger: The Beast Within
  6. Iron Man: Tony Stark was a billionaire playboy who had inherited tons of money from his father, Howard Stark, and then parlayed it into an even more impressive fortune using his own intellect and skills. Here is the thing, Tony always felt that his father hadn’t approved of (or even loved) him. This caused him to act out in so many ways. His book would definitely focus on parent-child relationships and the importance of believing in yourself even when you doubt others do. Title: My Father, Myself
  7. Wolverine: Logan is an ageless man who quickly heals from all injuries. A secret scientist organization operated on him and lined his skeleton with adamantium, a virtually unbreakable metal. He now is nearly indestructible and also has adamantium claws that erupt from his hands whenever he is in a fight (hence the name “Wolverine”). What Logan really suffers with is difficulty accepting his own mutations and those things that make him different from others. He could write a great book about being proud of who you are. Title: Looking Past the Claws: Loving the Man in the Mirror
  8. Spiderman: Peter Parker was an unassuming, quietly nerdy high school student who happened to get bitten by a radioactive spider. This spider bite led to super speed, super strength, web shooting, precognition, and healing. We all know the classic line from the movie, “With great power comes great responsibility”. Peter learns from the tragic loss of his uncle that his powers come at a cost – he is charged with caring for others. His book would stress the importance of appreciating what we have and to give back to others. Title: With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility
  9. Batman: Bruce Wayne was the happy only child of the fabulously happy (and rich) Wayne family when tragedy struck and his parents were shot during a robbery. Bruce then dedicated himself to fighting the criminal element under the disguise of Batman. He would pen a book about building something positive out of trauma. He would talk about reframing the negative experience and focusing on what you can make out of it. Title: Rising from the Ashes – Finding Your Inner Phoenix
  10. Flash: Barry Allen was a police scientist (with no special abilities) who was doused with chemicals and acquired super speed. He then used his super speed to protect the citizens of his town and take out the bad guys. Even after he had developed his special skills, Barry continued to use his scientific skills to aid the police department in catching the bad guys – while also helping to “run them down” himself. His book would focus on the importance of using the skills you are given to the best of your ability – everyone is good at something! Title: The Race to Know Yourself

So… what do you think? I am feeling relieved to have gotten all of this out of my head! Did I get it wrong? Any suggestions or modifications? Sadly, what I really realized is how much I would love to write each of these books! Time to start thinking about all those powerful ladies in superhero land!

* Correction: I made a correction on 4/7/15 – The previous version indicated Bruce Banner (The Incredible Hulk) was either a reporter or a scientist depending on the version you watched/read. I was corrected – he is always a scientist though he trailed by a reporter who seeks to out him. Sorry!

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