Disclaimer: You could write this about almost any superhero, but there are a few specifics about Superman that make him more similar to Indiana Jones than most others. You could also write an entire book on how they're the exact opposite. (I have a small fee of 20 percent of all profits made from that idea. Thank you very much.)
Admit it, we all want to be like Superman or Indiana Jones. They're both super cool and they live way more interesting lives than any of us will.
But they don’t actually have characters. Face facts: They’re both as one dimensional as it gets. But here’s why they’re (basically) the same character. I’ll start with the more superficial aspects.
1. Signature Looks
They're both incredibly good-looking. These guys are straight up out of a men's fashion magazine. They’re buff, have great smiles and perfect jawlines. They make straight women and gay men (and everyone else) quiver in their pants, just by simply gazing upon them.
Indiana Jones has his hat and whip, while Superman has his “S” shield and his classic red-and-blue skintight spandex suit with the cape — and not to mention his iconic red underwear, but thankfully he recently learned to put them on the inside.
2. That One Weakness
Superman's weakness is well known: kryptonite. It’s used as more of an easy cop-out than the weakness of Indiana Jones. His is pretty well known, too: snakes. This one’s used either to make a bad situation worse, or for comedic effect. Or both.
But real people don’t really have that one weakness — we have a bunch!
3. Ideal Charm
There’s no doubt that Indiana Jones knows how to charm every person in the room (especially the ladies, but I'll get to that in a bit). It’s what we love about him the most. He’s cocky, sarcastic, and cracks a lot of jokes. Yep, he can certainly charm the ladies like no other man.
Superman’s charm comes from his purity. It’s another reason we want to be him. He stands for truth, justice, and the American way. He’s a family man — as illustrated by his relationship with his mother — there’s no reason not to like him. Unless you’re one of those guys that hates those questionably too perfect kid in school: The handsome jock who’s nice to everyone, has an equally attractive girlfriend who’s equally nice, breaks every school record in football and academics, gives to charity — you get the picture…
Check out Superman's best moments below.
My point is, that while their particular brand of charm differs completely from one another, it’s still the ideal form of that type of charm that makes us all want to be like them, whether we’re cocky or super nice. These types of people have a lot of appeal to a broad group of people because they’re they embodiment of the perfect version of those particular brands of charm.
4. They Look Out For Kids
In The Temple of Doom and in 1978's Superman, both of our heroes go out of their way to help a child. In the former, we're introduced to the sort-of-adorable Short Round, while in the latter we witness classic Superman helping a little girl rescue her cat from a tree.
Women love a man that's good with kids. It's a sign that he'd make a great father, and that's pretty important when it comes to choosing a life partner.
Which brings me to my next point...
5. Ladies Love 'Em
They're either a ladies man, or what every woman wants in a man. Indiana Jones gets a new girl in every movie — all three of them. (THREE. That last one doesn't exist. It's a figment of your imagination. LISTEN AND BELIEVE and ignore the fact that I’m referencing that movie in the discussion.) Superman is kindhearted, has a steady job, pays his bills, saves cats from trees and the entire planet from time to time, and adores his mother. What's not to love?
6. Abilities Superior To Other Men
Superman's abilities are obvious: He can fly, shoot lasers out of his eyes, he's super strong and fast, and has X-ray vision (a power no one would ever abuse in puberty).
Indiana Jones has been in the toughest situations from which no regular person could escape. He uses a whip as a lasso and fights a giant German Nazi who looks like a 1930s Brock Lesnar. If he were a real person, he’d be disfigured, have only half of one arm left, be crippled for life, and probably be a little slow in the head.
7. We Want To Go On Their Adventures
They travel the world. They get to punch (or kill) people and get away with it. They save the world. They live a thousand lives in one week. Who wouldn't want to punch a Nazi or save people stranded in the frozen Arctic?
But it’s not just their everyday lives that are so appealing.
8. Respectable Alter Egos
We see in their movies that they still have lives and relationships outside the plots of their movies. Their alter egos are not only similar, but also appealing to us as an audience of human beings. But let’s start with the more superficial aspects…
Both their alter egos wear glasses, as seen in the images above. (OK, no one wants to wear glasses, but poor eyesight is a trait that their alter egos share.) This is where Superman specifically is similar to Indiana Jones. Most other superhero alter egos don't include wearing glasses. Admittedly, this one is oddly specific.
Another reason that Indiana Jones is similar to Superman is they both change their posture when they're in their alter ego gait. (Again, not desirable, but similar.) To play devil's advocate here, many people criticize — and rightfully so — the ridiculousness that is Lois Lane's inability to recognize Clark Kent as Superman. I realize they changed this in the recent DC Cinematic Universe (maybe even in the comics — I don't read them), but for the majority of Superman's existence, Lois just couldn't see it — for some reason. That said, there is a minor change in Superman's posture that makes it somewhat plausible that some people might not recognize him. To best illustrate this, the photo below shows you how this change makes it seem slightly less ridiculous as well as how Indiana Jones does this in a similar way.
Both are practically the opposite of who we know them to be. Superman's alter ego Clark Kent is a journalist — a career that involves researching and writing — while Indiana Jones is a respected professor — a career that doesn’t require anything physical, just the ability to speak to a class. The basic aspect of their respective careers is that it involves their brain, not necessarily their physical abilities.
9. They’re Intelligent
Building off No. 8, both alter egos have careers that require a good education. Contrary to what people may say about modern media, it takes a lot to be a journalist. It also goes without saying that being a university professor requires a high education; most, if not all, of the time it requires a Ph. D.
When they’re in trouble, both men need to act quickly and make the right move in order to save the day, and that requires that they be cool, calm and collected.
10. They Both Have Movies That Suck
This one goes without saying. You can debate endlessly about the quality of Superman Returns, Man of Steel or Batman v Superman, but Superman III and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace are just awful, while Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a bigger letdown than any of the movies I just mentioned. When the scenes with Shia LaBeouf are the best part about an Indiana Jones movie, you know something's messed up.
- Superman Say What? The 10 Most Ridiculous Facts About the Man of Steel!
- Superman Is Finally Spotted In 'Justice League' Teaser, But The DCEU's Clark Kent May Never Be The Same Again
- 'Indiana Jones' Fan Animation Short May Be The Franchise's Future
- Indiana Jones 5: The Final Adventure of Doctor Henry Jones Jr.?
If you'd rather watch a video about my list (which includes entertaining clips, additional commentary, and a surprise bonus), you can do so here:
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