If you're a fan of superheroes and you've been on the internet for any length of time, you’ve probably taken part in a "Which Superhero Are You?" online quiz. And you were probably pretty proud of the answer you got. Yeah, you DO like a good breakfast AND wearing black. You WOULD be Batman. And you, who identify as "smart" and enjoy Seinfeld, you're DEFINITELY Spider-Man.
Except you're not. And that's okay. There's no shame in not being a radioactive superhuman.
But if you aren't a high-ranking Avenger or Justice League… er, then who are you? You're the people in the background, people who are important but never get the spotlight that they deserve. Well, I'm gonna change that. Here are five minor superhero movie characters that you'd actually be.
The "Batman AAEYYYYYEEEEEHHH" guy from Batman Forever (1995)
Imagine meeting your favorite celebrity. Okay, now that you've got them in your head, imagine what you'd say to Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson. I bet it's something really witty, or charming. Something like "Your Instagram workout videos are a real inspiration," or "Even though the WrestleMania X7 match is more iconic, your encounter with Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania 19 is actually the best of your trilogy of matches." Something cool. Something impressive.
Stop lying to yourself. You're probably going to stutter at least once, give him a handshake that lasts way too long, and go home wishing you could curl up under a blanket and hide from the world forever. You'd do the same thing if you met the Dwayne Johnson of the comics world: Batman. To be more specific, you'd do what this guy did in Batman Forever when he saw Batman come bursting through a roof.
I don’t know what word "AAEYYYYYEEEEEHHH" is supposed to be. Is it "Batman, ehhh?" like you were expecting The Flash? Or is it "Batman, yay!" like you're glad that you probably won't be beaten up by Two-Face's goons now that the Caped Crusader is here. Regardless, it's obviously not the word that it was supposed to be. But that's cool. With his black body armor and supple Val Kilmer jawline, it's easy to get starstruck in the moment and release a noise out of your body that sounds like a goat fart. So don't be embarrassed when you meet The Rock and "AAEYYYYYEEEEEHHH" all over the place.
The guy that yells "CAGE!" in Spider-Man (2002)
It's important to have hobbies and interests and things that define you. Things that make you excited and thus make you want to share that excitement with the world. For example, when you cheer at a concert, you are letting your fellow humans know that "Hey! This music is appealing to me, too! I'm so glad!" Even if you never talk to another person at the event, you are still bonding with everyone there through mutual loudness.
So if you've ever been so happy about something that you had to shout about it just so you wouldn't implode, maybe you're the guy that yells "CAGE!" in Spider-Man. Sure, there's a bunch of background actors in this scene, and sure, they could've just lowered the cage and given audience members a chance to find out for themselves that it was, in fact, a cage. But the most realistic, touching moment in Spider-Man comes not through Uncle Ben's passing or from Peter Parker's emotional growth, but from that guy yelling "CAGE!"
I am that guy, about superheroes, about wrestling, about anime, and about particularly good tacos. You're that guy when it comes to whatever you're into. You don't have to be a fan of Bonesaw McGraw (though you should, because when it comes to everything, BONESAW IS REEAAADY) to feel and understand this random dude's utter delight at getting to see some unknown Amazing Spider-Man fellow face the best wrestler in the universe inside a bunch of steel. Be that guy and be proud of it.
Lou Ferrigno in Hulk (2003)
As someone that likes working out frequently, I now understand what it means to think about working out all the time. You develop a rhythm in your day, and when that rhythm is disrupted, and you can't get your gym time in, you get antsy. "What if all my hard work goes away?" you think, flexing your biceps that are mostly just impressive to you at this point. "What if I lose all of my muscles in one afternoon?" So you try to be nice to people, even though you're hulking around, seething, and knowing that nothing would make you happier than a barbell, a couple of plates, and a protein shake.
Look at Lou Ferrigno. Look at the size of him compared to the other actors. That dude could eat Stan Lee and it wouldn't even be considered a cheat meal for him. I think it's safe to say that he might be thinking about lifting in that scene. But he's not getting worked up. Instead, he's kindly listening to his boss, Stan Lee, talk about how security used to be back in 1850, knowing that his chest muscles are an entire security team on their own.
Lou Ferrigno is you, hungry gym bros. I know that the world likes to stereotype you as these loud, obnoxious freight trains of testosterone and Under Armour, but in my experience, you're just thinking about when you can eat your next Tupperware meal of chicken, asparagus and rice. And you're doing it politely
"Okay, that's NOT good!" cop in The Dark Knight (2008)
My toilet overflowed this week. At the same time, the oven timer started going off, letting me know that I now had a short window of time to get my chicken strips out before they went from extra crispy to remarkably, angrily crispy. And while these aren't earth-shattering complications that will ruin my psyche, they're definitely not things that I want to happen at all, much less at the same time. The cops in The Dark Knight felt the same way, I think, because that movie is all about overflowing toilets. Metaphorically, of course.
At one point, after being menaced by a garbage truck and a bazooka-carrying clown, a cop in a SWAT van sees a helicopter get taken out above him by some of the Joker's men. His response is to yell "Okay, that's NOT good!" and I get it. It's not a clever line, nor is it particularly memorable. But when your bathroom floor and/or city is being flooded with urine and/or crime, all you can do is shout about how "not good" things are going.
In the Gotham that is my apartment, my wife (who is my own personal Dark Knight) pulled the chicken strips out of the oven while I tended to the bathroom. But we've all been there. So maybe, right now, your house is on fire and there's a dude on the phone yelling at you about upgrading your internet package. Or maybe your dog is incessantly barking at nothing and your baby is trying to climb on top of the television. Whatever it is, just know that many people, including the police force in DC Comics' most famous city, can relate.
Harry Dean Stanton in The Avengers (2012)
We all have problems. We've been broken up with or lied to. We've felt like the world has turned its back on us. We've run out of hot dogs. And when that happens, we try to find comfort in the words of others. And this means that, often, when you're not currently going through something heavy, you're helping others work through something heavy that they feel the pressure. You're the shoulder to cry on, and you give words of wisdom as best you can, even if those words are just "Yo, he was a loser anyway. And we can always buy you more hot dogs."
But when you're a superhero, it's hard to find emotional support among your peers, mainly because everyone else has super issues, too. They're all dealing with something. If you were just a really strong guy with laser vision, you'd probably be hired by a tech company somewhere. But if you're a really strong guy with laser vision THAT ALSO lost his whole family when your planet exploded, you save the world in an attempt to fix your sadness. It's one of your few coping mechanisms.
That's why Harry Dean Stanton's character in The Avengers is so important to Bruce Banner, and that's why you might be Harry Dean Stanton's character to someone right now. Because he's there, just like you're there. You don't know what it's like to grow huge and destroy things, just like you might not know what it's like to be going through a divorce and a hot dog shortage. But you can at least try to be helpful and supportive, which basically makes you an honorary Avenger. And before you say "An emotional support superhero sounds lame," think of how much less moping Batman would do if Green Arrow just brought over some wine to Wayne Manor and asked Bats about his feelings.