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If Superheroes Were More Realistic


Superman and policemanSuperheroes are our modern-day myths, “living” legends of immense power whose exploits thrill and inspire us. In the midst of all this hero worship, though, it’s easy to forget that beneath the masks and the emblems is a real human/human-like alien/mutant with real thoughts and feelings. I say this, not as a reminder of the human frailties and emotional vulnerabilities that these living gods must deal with in private moments, but more to point out that these figures are not so different from you or me—which is why they should be screwing up much more often in stupid and embarrassing ways. Perhaps, in situations like these:



HAL JORDAN is enjoying a leisurely afternoon stroll through a crowded park. Suddenly, mass hysteria breaks out as SINESTRO descends from the sky, yellow constructs swirling!

SINESTRO: Green Lantern of Earth! Show yourself and face me!

HAL: Hey, whoa, can we not do this here? You’re blowing my cover!

BYSTANDER: Hey, is that guy Green Lantern?

HAL: See?

SINESTRO: Then, face me, Jordan! Face me and meet your demise!

HAL: All right, Sinestro, you asked for—oh.


HAL: Nothing.

SINESTRO: Why do you simply stand there? I promise you, Jordan, if you will not fight, I will—

HAL: No, no, it’s not…can we just, maybe, I don’t know…can we rain-check this?


HAL: It’s just, now isn’t a great time for me…

SINESTRO: Enough stalling! Prepare yourself for a battle to the death.

An awkward silence as Hal motions for Sinestro to come closer.

SINESTRO: (sighing) What is it, Jordan?

Ring on sinkHAL: (whispering) I don’t have my ring.


SINESTRO: You must be joking.

HAL: Nope.

SINESTRO: Well then, where is it? Stolen by a rogue Guardian? Destroyed by the intense heat of—

HAL: I’m pretty sure it’s on my sink at home.

Another awkward pause as the two stare silently at each other.

SINESTRO: The greatest weapon in the known universe…is on your sink. At home.

HAL: Yeah, it’s just, I don’t like wearing it when I wash my hands. It feels weird when soap gets under there, and if I
didn’t take it off, I feel like that one part of my finger would just get really gross. But, I must have forgotten to put it back on today. So, uh…heh. This is embarrassing.

A long pause.

SINESTRO: I think…I think I’m just going to go ahead and leave.




Batmobile crashIt is twilight in Gotham City, and JOHN is driving home from a long day of work at the grime production plant or something. Slowing to a stop at a red light, he is violently rear-ended.

JOHN: Ahh, ok, ow. Perfect. Just perfect.

John unsteadily climbs out of his car and looks back to see the Batmobile and the shadowy figure of THE BATMAN standing beside it.

JOHN: You?!

BATMAN: (stoic silence, music swells)

JOHN: Crap…um, listen, it looks like there’s a fair amount of damage from your…rocket tank, there, but my kid is a big
fan of yours, so why don’t you just give me your insurance info and you can get back to doing your thing.

BATMAN: (stoic silence)

JOHN: You do have insurance, right?

BATMAN: (stoic silence)

JOHN: Perfect…

BATMAN: I can give you cash for it.

JOHN: Oh, sure, that’s cool. Um, so I don’t want to ask for too much, but it looks like I’m going to need a new…back of my car. But, it’s fine, it’s totally fine, let’s just say five hundred?

BATMAN: I don’t have it on me.

JOHN: But, you just said—

BATMAN: I can bring it to your house while you’re asleep.

JOHN: I’m, uh, I’m not entirely comfortable with that.

BATMAN: (stoic silence)

JOHN: I saw you pull a giant net out of your belt on the news one time. A whole net. You don’t have room for a wallet on that thing?

BATMAN: (stoic silence, cape flutters in the breeze)

JOHN: Ok, tell you what, let me just get into my glove box here and get my insurance info, maybe we can work
something—aaaaand you and your car are gone. Fantastic.


CLARK KENT walks into the offices of the Daily Planet’s IT Department to find GREG working at his desk.

CLARK: Hey, Greg, is it ready yet?

GREG: Not yet, Mr. Kent. I gave you the last replacement keyboard earlier this morning, so now we’re completely out. I placed an order for a crate of new computer peripherals, but they won’t arrive until the end of the week.

melted computerCLARK: But, Greg, isn’t there anything you can do for me? Perry needs this article on his desk before 4 p.m.!

GREG: I’m sorry, Mr. Kent. Have you tried maybe not destroying your keyboards?

CLARK: I really am sorry about that, Greg.

GREG: I know you are, Mr. Kent. But, this is the second one in as many hours. That’s a new record for you.

CLARK: Yeah, but my computer kept losing wireless when I was trying to post something on Lois’ Facebook wall earlier. I got a little frustrated.

GREG: And, annihilated your keyboard.

CLARK: Guess I don’t know my own strength. Heh.

GREG: Well, maybe Ms. Lane will let you borrow her computer to finish your article?

CLARK: Er, well, I asked her earlier, and she did let me use it. But, her computer kept telling me that it couldn’t locate the freaking printer and her monitor sort of…um, spontaneously melted…

GREG: All by itself.

CLARK: It would seem that way, yes.

GREG: All right then. I’ll go ahead and add a new monitor to that order. Why didn’t she send Jimmy down to let me know she needed a replacement?

CLARK: Oh, he’s kind of in the hospital right now…

GREG: What happened?

CLARK: Well, you know those big windows on the fourth floor?

GREG: Yes.

CLARK: He jumped out from behind the curtains to startle me earlier, and then he shot out of the window somehow.

GREG: How unusual.

CLARK: I know, right? Luckily, Superman showed up to fly him to the hospital.

GREG: Uh-huh. What a fortuitous coincidence.


Jordan Callarman, Fanbase Press Contributor



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