What do Heroes Do When They Run out of Milk?
Have you ever thought about your favorite action, sci-fi or otherworldly hero taking the time to perform a totally mundane task, such as picking up a gallon of milk or the dry-cleaning? These are moments we wouldn’t really want to see on the screen or in a comic, in fact we would most likely feel cheated if we did, but they have to happen, right?
Sure, some few heroes are rich enough to have a butler (Batman); but for the most part they all have a home or lair that needs maintenance, transportation that requires fuel, clothes or costumes that get dirty and physical needs like food and sleep that require attention. The only time we might witness any of these actions taking place is in a montage after said home or vehicle is destroyed.
Can you imagine a costumed hero stopping at a convenience store on the way home from saving the world? The store clerk would probably give them whatever for free, or at least ask for a USIE (that’s a group selfie for readers over thirty, I looked it up). More likely, the hero would go in disguise, like celebrities who wear sunglasses and baseball hats to confuse tabloid photographers.
Of course, some heroes have established alternate identities that are supposedly ordinary people, where they can perform all there ordinary tasks without fear of recognition, and others simply live isolated lives when they’re not rescuing strangers. Superman doesn’t need to worry about mundane tasks; he has Clark Kent to do them for him. The Cullen family lives in an isolated house so no one notices they never eat.
Other heroes, the ones without superpowers or fancy costumes, tend to their needs between paperwork at the police station or on coffee breaks at the hospital. They live in ordinary homes, and they blend in so well with regular society that no one comments when they go out in public and run normal errands. The fact that they don’t garner attention everywhere they go does not make them any less heroic than their brethren in tights, in fact, sometimes quite the opposite. The quiet, unexpected heroes are the ones that we are mostly likely to meet outside of a movie theatre or comic book shop.
Heroes give us hope, and an ideal to aspire to. Whether we want to be heroes ourselves, or just meet one in person, we cannot deny we love our heroes as much as we depend on them to always save the day. Here’s hoping we can always find a hero when we truly need one, and that our heroes have time to live a life that is larger than their next rescue.