Superheroes for 2021

Superheroes are created to match the needs and wants of their audience. At their best, comic heroes shed light on the difficulties people are facing and provide a medium through which the audience can imagine overcoming that adversity. Captain America was created as wish-fulfillment for anti-isolationists hoping to punch Hitler right in the kisser. The X-Men comics, despite their mayonnaise-white cast of original heroes, were born out of the momentum of the civil rights movement, a stand-in for the discrimination faced by black and brown Americans and a representation of what it takes to keep fighting through adversity. And Punisher arose from the innate desire of every person to become Batman, juxtaposed against the fact that becoming Batman involves way more money anyone could reasonably have—so hey, why not buy a fuckton of guns and fucking shoot everybody? Okay, that one is a little less idealistic. 

The of-the-moment inspirations for our most iconic superheroes makes you wonder: what type of superheroes are going to be born out of this flaming shitnugget of a time? We did our best to answer. 

Captain Exhale: Able to breathe comfortably through any mask, Captain Exhale can powerfully walk through densely populated buildings, burst through crowded subways, and even carefully avoid strangers on the sidewalk while maintaining a calm, even breath. 

Video Woman: It’s a sociopath! It’s a living zombie! No, it’s Video Woman, capable of withstanding multiple hours bouncing between Zoom, Google Hangouts and Skype for Business without once leaving her mic on mute or dropping her WiFi connection.

The Outsider: When it’s 30 degrees outside and you can’t bear to have another meal trapped in your goddamn apartment, who are you going to call? The Outsider! With her power to turn any outdoor location into a tolerable place to sit for 45 or so minutes, The Outsider is the only hero guaranteed to make you say, “Can I just die here instead of going back?”

Seth Rogen: Look, the bar is really low right now. The power to absolutely roast the fuck out of Ted Cruz every day while still finding the time to make dope pottery is a superpower these days.

Average Boy: No task is too big. No responsibility is too important. When the moment arises, Average Boy will show up and turn in a C-minus effort. And every time, humanity will rejoice because at least someone is doing something. What a hero.

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