It seems nowadays that every classic comic character has got its own blockbuster movie. Think Iron Man, the Hulk and who could forget Spiderman and Batman? Superheroes were originally created as fictional characters for children, but as we all know, they have transcended that genre to become characters that interest adults alike. Whether you grew up with the characters or are just learning of them now, their powers whether innate or created, fascinate and draw vast audiences worldwide.
Superheroes have not always been as they are now. They were once one-dimensional characters that willfully fought any crime or evil at hand. Now, these characters have been molded into multi-dimensional personas that are more humanized than ever before. They face the same fears, insecurities and weaknesses as many of us do. Through modern blockbuster films they’ve been granted more intricate identities, one could even say an enlightenment identity because they are vastly autonomous in character.
This evolution to a newer more relatable superhero begs the question of whether we are drawn to these characters because we see traits of our own within them (especially within these newer versions that carry a lot more baggage). And if we do see ourselves, then what makes them so heroic? Super powers of course, or in Iron Man’s case, a super-genius assistant. But really, if you could create your own humanized superhero what would she or he be like? Think about it.
If I could construct a super-necessary superhero she would be something like this:
Nascha is a teenage Navajo girl. Her parents named her Nascha because it means owl, and they knew she would be good-spirited and intelligent, as she is. When she became a superhero she took on the name the Opal Owl, because she always wears her mother’s Navajo opal necklace. Though Nascha is a young girl she is very tough, strong-willed and extremely smart. She is often called a tomboy because she has many traits often associated with masculinity, such as being out-spoken and tough. She was born on reservation land in Alamo, New Mexico in the United States on June 1, 1997. Nascha lives with only her father, as her mother passed away from a lung infection when Nascha was only ten years old. The infection was curable, but her mother was misdiagnosed with lung cancer and misinformation ultimately ended her life. Nascha’s father is a high school history teacher, who is very supportive of Nascha’s preoccupation/ obsession with reading and self-educating. He is proud that she writes as a past-time and aspires to become a novelist. She has a diverse group of friends and attends high school off the reservation. None of her friends know that she is a super-secret, super-smart, superhero.
Nascha, or shall we call her Opal Owl, has a unique super-ability to spread knowledge and read peoples minds. When she comes across a person who is on the verge of committing a crime she gives that person the knowledge to know that there are better ways to make a buck or have a good time. Though the knowledge she creates within people does not last forever, it is enough to temporarily sway them from making awful decisions. It is not until hours after when the opportunity for crime has passed that the suspect realizes they have been brainwashed into being a more informed, empathetic person. Often times they are so effected that they change for the better. The origin of her superpower comes from the necklace she wears around her neck. The pendent on the necklace is an opal that her great grandmother found in the New Mexico desert and fashioned into a necklace. When Nascha’s mother was dying she told her to wear it, and to spread knowledge and empathy wherever she went. The opal now glows when Nascha has the opportunity to change a person’s path for the better. The only limitation is that if Nascha does not have the necklace on, her powers do not work. The opal necklace does not have the same effect on anybody else but Nascha. Her costume was made to keep the pendant in place, and she wears a sleek black mask to keep her identity a secret (and also because it reminds her of Zoro, and who doesn’t think Zoro’s cool?).
Opal Owl tries to fight off the wrath of ignorance and non-empathetic people. Her villains are those that shun knowledge in order to follow a life of crime, hatred or greed. She also helps to counteract the will of rich land developers who continually try to steal their reservation land for industrial development. For these reasons her community needs the assistance of a superhero. Though as we all know, Americans prize their privacy and are very apprehensive to trust a mind reading superhero.
In an age of misinformation, ignorance and greed, the Opal Owl is needed to induce moments of reason and logic into super-villain nihilists. Within different disciplines it may be all right to be a money-hungry land developer, that discourse allows for greed as normality. Opal Owl arrives to introduce a new discourse into such a person’s intellect. In this way Opal Owl works to protect the greater good and fend off those who do evil with only selfish goals in mind. Opal Owl suggests that a young Native American girl can be smart, strong and proactive to make her community a better place. She is not a stereotypical young American girl who watches MTV all day and stares at her smart phone endlessly. She is informed and active and does not have to sexualize herself, or her superhero costume to feel pretty. Opal Owl works to spread knowledge and empathy to her community and beyond! Knowledge is power, super-power!