Just Because It’s a Power, Doesn’t Make it Super

My older son is really into Spider-Man. Or more accurately, Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends. If you’re not familiar, this isn’t Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man, or even Toby McGuire’s (and while we’re on the subject, who the hell let that guy play Spidey?). Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends is the 1981 hand-drawn version of the Stan Lee comic, in which Peter Parker and his college pals team up to solve oddly repetitive crimes.

It’s not a bad little show; think Scooby-Doo without the schtick. But what really gets me is the sheer lameness of the heroes’ superpowers.

Meet Iceman:

Iceman_SMAFI apologize to all you X-Men purists out there; I know Iceman is one of your founding members, but let’s get real here – this guy sucks. Not only is his plainclothes alter ego a 100% ripoff of Fred from Scooby-Doo, but his superpower is only effective against bad guys that are, for one reason or another, too hot. Conveniently, many of the villains featured on Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends seem to be on fire quite a bit, but that’s besides the point.

But the main reason Iceman just doesn’t cut it as a superhero is that never once in your life when asked “If you could have any superpower, what would it be?” have you answered, “Be able to make stuff cold!”




Meet Firestar:

FirestarMy main gripe with Firestar isn’t necessarily her lame superpower. She can set stuff on fire, which the secret pyromaniac in all of us can appreciate and she’s blessed with the gift of flight. On paper, Firestar is legit. No, my hangup with Firestar has nothing to do with her inability to live up to her superhero namesake. My hangup with Firestar is her constant and completely unapologetic cameltoe.

There. I said it.




Meet Videoman:

UnknownVideoman, who is less of a “man” and more of “an intangible being mostly composed of electronic data gleaned from a video arcade” (thanks Wikipedia), shows up several times as a villain in the Spider-Man series. He’s a pretty powerful guy because he possesses the unique ability to shoot electronic pulses of energy.

What else? Oh no, that’s it. That’s his power. He shoots pulses of energy. Now, I’ve never been hit by a pulse of energy, but I can only imagine it feels something like when it’s your turn to be hit by an oscillating fan.

Oh, and sometimes he turns into a good guy.


So that’s it. There’s no profound message here. Just a blog about this old cartoon that my kid likes.


Everyone has opinions on super heroes. Don’t hold back people! Rant freely! (For example: “Batman isn’t a superhero, just a rich guy with gadgets.)


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