Friday, November 4, 2016

In Honor of All Saints' Day: Underrated Superhero Stories

For Halloween this year, my son and I went as Superman and Wonder Woman... he is a nerd-in-training! The next day, I took him to an All Saints' Day service. During the service, the priest mentioned that he thought that all of the superhero costumes from the night before's trick-or-treaters were actually in keeping with church tradition. After all, All Hallows' Eve celebrates the day before All Saints' Day, which is a party dedicated to the superheroes of the church!

So, to keep this tradition, I offer some superhero stories. Not the big, blockbuster tales (I'm lookin' at you, The Avengers), but some lesser-known gems. Enjoy!

Chronicle: It's a simple story: teenagers stumble upon superpowers; some become heroes and some become villains. What happens next? Do their powers change their nature or do they enhance their fundamental character? This is creatively told, subtly acted, unusually sensitive superhero origin story. I don't think there's been talk of a sequel, but it's one I'd actually like to see (unlike most of the superhero-industrial-movie-complex).

Bionic Woman: Reviews for this show were mixed but I maintain that it had potential. The lead actor, Michelle Ryan (who is wonderful in other projects), was miscast - especially next to the charisma-machine that is Katee Sackhoff. But the atmosphere was moody and fun and, had Sackhoff been the lead, I think this show could have really caught on with audiences. 

Alphas: What would it really be like if you developed superhuman powers? Would it be a 10 min. montage where you work to define yourself and then all fun and games? Or would you struggle? Like, really struggle? Alphas distinguishes itself by imagining in detail the problems with being extraordinary. Like X-Men? You'll love this tale of genetic anomalies, abilities, and evolution. Fair warning: like a lot of good television, this show was cancelled too soon, so don't expect a clean ending.

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