If anyone has read any of my other articles, you might know that I’m not the biggest fan of DC Comics. I just don’t find their two biggest franchises that interesting, those being Superman and Batman. I don’t think they’re awful or anything and if other people like them, that’s completely fine. However, the one I just can’t ignore with how uninteresting and boring they are is Superman. Superman is always portrayed as the boy scout who has to do right and then takes forever to complete the task because he has all the powers that most superheroes wish they had. Having a combination of super strength, speed, heat vision, freeze breath, indestructibility and so on; basically anything that the writers could come up with at the time. Now, granted I don’t know everything about every single storyline Superman has starred or taken part in so I’m not the greatest critic when it comes to him.
However, I recently watched a 2008 movie called Hancock that starred Will Smith as an alcoholic and terrible superhero who is not seen as a likable hero in the public eye. The news constantly smears him with every incident he causes while the civilians boo and criticize him because he does more harm than good whenever he intervenes with crime. While this is an interesting concept for a film, the movie was mostly met mediocre reviews and I can definitely see why. The story isn’t terribly engaging and the villains are not very threatening and ultimately forgettable. However, the one thing that the movie did surprisingly well is making an interesting, three dimensional character out of Hancock. The whole point of the movie is that Hancock saves the life of Ray Embry, a public relations spokesman, and Ray repays him by helping him with his image to make him more likable to the public.
Even though Hancock is initially hard to deal with, even Hancock gets tired of being hated by everyone in the city and when he finally gets the public on his side after stopping a bank robbery and saving a bunch of hostages, he actually starts to feel good about helping people and getting some praise for what he does for once. You don’t see that too often in superhero movies. A lot of the time, the main superhero in movies just starts fighting crime because they’re just the good guy and they feel obligated to use their superpowers for good. But in this movie, it’s almost like Hancock is forced to fight crime at the beginning of the movie. Like he just wants to left alone but everyone expects him to do right because of what they’ve read in comic books and seen in movies that he feels this will be the only way he can fit in to society. That’s probably why whenever he tries to stop crime, he’s puts in such minimal effort or let’s his temper take over the situation.
That’s actually a very interesting angle to tackle with the superhero genre that really has never been seen before in the genre. That’s why it kind of hit me that Hancock is pretty much the interesting Superman I’ve always wanted. Hancock shares a lot of similarities to Superman when it comes to his powers and not knowing where he comes from and not knowing how to fit into regular society. These are the reasons why I associate Hancock so much to Superman. However, Superman basically just stops crime and does good because he just a boy scout and wants to do right. While that is very noble of his character, that’s still not terribly interesting. Hancock stops crime because it almost feels like he thinks he’s obligated to stop crime in order to fit into this crazy society that he’s so obviously an outsider too. Then, after a plot twist in the movie that I won’t spoil for you here, the backstory that is given to Hancock is still pretty interesting.
Apparently, people like Hancock have been around for centuries and that there are soulmates for each of these “Immortals” as they are called. Whenever these soulmates are together long enough, the two start to lose their powers and basically become mortal. Now, that’s actually a pretty cool idea for a superhero romance that in order for them to keep on fighting crime and saving the world, they have to stay away from the person they love and want to spend the rest of their lives with. However, because of this, all of the Immortals have “seemingly” died out and all that are left is the two of them. This can also become another similarity to Superman who is one of the last Krytonians alive.
So, if anyone asks me how I wish Superman was more like, Hancock sort of answered that question. If you didn’t like the film, that’s totally understandable because even I didn’t really like it when I initially saw it in the theaters. However, you can’t deny that the writers tried their hardest to portray an intriguing and complex superhero character. So, do I think that Hancock is the interesting Superman… Yeah I pretty much do. Does this mean that I’m right? Of course not, this is all strictly opinion based and there will be people who disagree with me. Let me know your thoughts on the subject in comments below and thanks for reading.