What makes a superhero?
Is it the cape, is it the costume, or is it that fancy mask? Is it flight, is it laser vision, or is it superhuman strength? Are they really supposed to wear their pants before their underwear?
To quote Karmelene Lara, a friend, in her Philippine Daily Inquirer article entitled “Heroes,” “…when I was a little kid that was my definition of a hero; someone who either flies or owns a weird-looking jet; someone who zaps villains with laser vision; someone who lifts a bus with one arm and carries a damsel in distress on the other; and someone who owns a show that ends with ‘once again the day is saved thanks to the…’”
I guess everybody has their own notion of heroes. Some will say that a hero would be the guy that gives his seat to an old lady in the LRT. Still others would say that a hero would be that muscular dude wearing that tight, colorful costume, flying in to save the world accompanied with his own background music.
No person is entirely perfect, so it probably is safe to assume that no hero is perfect as well. After all, very rare are the heroes who are “super” 24-7. Most of them have human counterparts and there is only one superhero that I know of whose superpowers completely offset the faults of human nature, God.
If I’d be asked however, my ideal hero would be someone that works in the background for the greater good. Someone who doesn’t suck up all the praise and glory, yet still is vital in helping good triumph. Somebody who at least tries to entice victory with intelligence, and not let his fists do the talking. Somebody who knows that more often than not, violence isn’t the answer.
Somebody like X-Men: The Last Stand’s Professor X. Xavier.
The ideal hero should, first and foremost, be responsible. And I believe that the Professor is as responsible as they come. After all, if you can track down and fund an institute for gifted children, a.k.a. mutants, and still find time to educate the world of peace...