It’s Not You, It’s My Enemies Jun03

It’s Not You, It’s My Enemies...

There are many good reasons for superheroes to keep their identities secret. However, there’s one not-so-great reason. In particular, it seems to be a favourite of Superman’s, Batman’s, Spider-man’s, and countless others’. It’s what TV Tropes calls “It’s not You, It’s My Enemies,” where the superhero does not reveal his identity to his love interest in order to protect her from his adversaries. While I understand the need to keep loved ones out of danger, I think this particular trope is one that we need to stop using. In CW’s show The Flash, Barry Allen is a CSI for the Central City Police Department. When he was 11 years old, his mother was murdered by mysterious red and yellow lighting, and his father went to prison for the crime; Barry has been trying to make sense of the event and prove his father’s innocence ever since. In the pilot episode, Barry is struck by lightning at the same time the S.T.A.R Labs particle accelerator explodes, sending out a wave of dark matter. Nine months later he wakes up at S.T.A.R Labs from a coma and discovers that he has super speed. He shows his new powers to the three scientists who work there—Dr. Harrison Wells, Dr. Caitlin Snow, and Cisco Ramon—and they team up to help him learn about his new abilities. One thing I’ve noticed is that it’s only the male superheroes who use this excuse. At the same time, Barry’s adoptive father, Detective Joe West, is hunting down a criminal with the supposed ability to control the weather, Clyde Mardon. This causes Barry and the others to realize that others were also affected by the dark matter, and Barry decides to go up against Clyde with his speed. The episode culminates in...

Who wants to live forever? Dec02

Who wants to live forever?...

Stories about eternal life on earth abound in sci-fi and fantasy; I think of the Dúnedain from The Lord of the Rings, That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis, many a Star Trek episode, and the list could go on… The Highlander movie and TV series, however, is a favourite of mine. My family will attest to my random singing of “Who Wants to Live Forever”by Queen, or shouting out the catchphrase “there can be only one!” during battles with… well, anyone who will battle me. The theme of immortality is also a constant in Doctor Who, since the Doctor is essentially immortal. Though there were two recent episodes that dealt with immortality head on—”The Girl Who Died” and “The Woman Who Lived.” In the first episode, a young Viking woman named Ashildr dies to save her village from aliens using a helmet that the Doctor modified. Feeling sad for her poor, grieving father, and perhaps guilty for his part in it, he decides to bring her back to life. He uses a modified microchip (he’s really into modifying alien tech in this episode) to bring her back and gives her a second one to use on someone else so that she will not be alone—because there’s a catch to this remedy—she will be immortal. The immortality that I am waiting for is one where I will become most perfectly myself. “The Woman Who Lived” picks up in Ashildr’s adulthood, several hundred years after her encounter with the Doctor. We find her so jaded, broken, and lonely from the solitude of her immortality (she never did use the second microchip) that she has been living a life of crime. She reveals that, since her memory is mortal-sized, the only way she could remember everything that has happened to her is by writing it out...