Ben is well and truly into his superheroes phase. I’m assured by other mum’s of boys that this comes between the trains phase (I loved that phase… track building is one of the skills I will now list on my CV) and the football phase (yeah… not so keen on that one).
Now, being a girl, and having a sister but no brothers, my knowledge of superheroes wasn’t that great. I mean, I liked doing crafts and playing with Barbies when I was 3. The Hulk didn’t feature in my childhood.
But over the last few months, I have learned. I have embraced the superhero phase full on. I have read the books, worn the costume (well, purchased the costume) and can now Hulk-smash with the best of them.
So today, I am passing on this knowledge. Do you know your baddies from your goodies? Is your Superman a bit too average-mum? Is your Iron Man a bit too… ironing?
Here is the mum’s guide to superheroes.
- AKA the gateway superhero – he’s the first one the kids usually like. You’ll need a supermarket-issue costume and red and blue face paint.
- History: Peter Parker, science-whiz orphan, gets bitten by a radioactive spider. He then develops spider-related super powers.
- Skills: web-throwing, jumping, climbing.
- Arch-enemy: The Green Goblin
- Catchphrase: “My spider sense is tingling.”
- Signature move: Throw your wrist out as if you are trying to shake your watch off your hand.
Optional: Shout, “Go web, go!”
AKA The big green one. Seems to always lose all his clothes except his shorts (thankfully).
History: Bruce Banner, a scientist, got caught in the blast of a gamma bomb that he was testing. As a result, he turns into the Hulk when he is under social and emotional pressure. He also loses the capacity to use grammar correctly.
Skills: super-strength, smashing things.
Arch-enemy: The abomination and The leader (they are new to me too).
Catchphrase: “Hulk Smash!”
Signature move: Raise fists above head, then smash them downwards.
Optional extra: Speak like a toddler, referring to yourself in third person – “Hulk angry. Hulk want to smash things.”
AKA The one with the glowy chest.
History: Tony Stark, an American millionaire inventor (all good) playboy (OK, so not the best role model) suffers a severe chest injury when he is kidnapped. He is forced to make a weapon of some kind, but instead creates a suit of armour which transforms him into Iron Man. He actually has several different versions of this armour in his wardrobe, including underwater armour, Hulkbuster armour and black and gold armour (for when he’s feeling a bit glam).
Skills: If it can be done, Iron Man can do it: flying, fighting, running a multi-national business.
Arch-enemy: Pretty much anyone, including The Hulk.
Catchphrase: Iron Man doesn’t have a catchphrase. It’s his only failing. That and the playboy business.
Signature move: Palm up towards opponent. Fire imaginary repulsor technology from palm of hand.
You won’t need an optional extra. If he’s anything like my son, you won’t be allowed to be Iron Man.
AKA The one with the stripy shield
History: Steve Rogers tried to enlist into the US Army during WW2. However, he wasn’t accepted as he was too frail. Instead, he is used as a trial for a ‘Super Soldier’ project, and injected with a serum to give him super-strength. He becomes the perfect soldier.
Skills: strength, endurance, agility, speed, reflexes, durability, and healing.
Arch-enemy: Red Skull (but basically, any belief system that embodies ideals contrary to America)
Catchphrase: “Avengers Assemble.”
Signature move: Pretend you have a shield.
Optional extra: Get into role with an American accent.
AKA The God of Thunder
History: Right, this is complicated. Basically, Thor is based on the Norse god of thunder – he has a hammer, and is the son of the King Odin. Odin and Thor are Asguardians – they live in Asgard, not Earth – but they can get to Earth.
Thor used to be conceited, but Odin decided he needed to learn a lesson, so sent Thor to Earth to study as a disabled medical student. He learned humility, and now is a superhero. You totally care, right?
Skills: Supernatural strength and speed, stamina and the ability to travel through time. He can also control storms. He’s pretty cool. In fact, I don’t think 3 year old boys realise quite how cool Thor is.
Arch-enemy: Loki, his brother.
Catchphrase: “For Asgard!”
Signature move: Swing a hammer.
Optional extra: Wear a cape. And armour. In fact, wear the whole dressing up box. At once.
You know what? Thor’s the best. Your son will probably think Spiderman, The Hulk and Iron Man are the best, but he’s wrong. You should always choose to be Thor.
FYI, The Avengers in the recent film are: The Hulk, Captain America, Iron Man and Thor. In comic book history, pretty much every superhero has been in The Avengers at one time or another.
I’m loving the Superheroes phase. It provides critical life lessons, such as:
- 1. Science is cool.
- 2. Radiation is dangerous.
- 3. The good guys always win.
- Altogether now… “For Asgard!” *Swishes cape, swings hammer.*
- All images courtesy of https://wall.alphacoders.com/