I’ve spent an embarrassingly enormous amount of time this past week binge watching “Smallville” after becoming obsessed with tracking down the last three seasons. I’m almost finished (as soon as I finish this post I’m watching another two episodes), but watching Superman grow up has me thinking about who are my greatest heroes? And my first inclination was real heroes, who I will celebrate very soon, I promise. But that particular list is insanely long, and I want to give the real conservation heroes all the justice they are truly due. Tonight, I want to talk about our favorite comic book superheroes, and which ones are earth-friendly.
The most obvious choice when listing our favorite heroes is Captain Planet. But listing him is almost cheating. I mean, his whole concept was about environmentalism and conservation. Growing up, I adored this show, and even today I am easily duped with false promotions of a “Captain Planet” movie to get me giddy and excited. Yes, I would pay hordes of money to see Captain Planet and the Planeteers on the big screen, multiple times, and perhaps even dress up. I’m just saying. The idea of Captain Planet was perfect for my generation. It let us know that it was more than okay to be concerned about the environment, it was SUPER-COOL! I await for Captain Planet’s inevitable revival soon.
But what about DC and Marvel? What superheroes do they have that promote conservation? I personally like Aquaman. I mean, here’s a person who can talk to dolphins and breathe underwater, my personal dream while I was growing up. But Aquaman uses his abilities mostly to fight for the protection of his oceans and his fishy friends. I think if he were a real person, he’d have every person on earth eating truly dolphin safe tuna, sustainable seafood, and have all humans completely stop using water bottles. Aquaman may not be the “coolest” of superheroes, but he’s one of the top notch guys in my book.
I think while X-Men as a group could work on their carbon footprint, there are quite a few individuals that care deeply for the environment. I wish Wolverine would use some of his strength and healing to promote healing the planet, as I see him as a woodsy, environmental type person. Storm’s powers depend on environmental factors, so I feel she would be a strong component for sustainable living. Beast is way too smart to NOT care about the environment. But Professor X seems so consumed with equality for mutants that protecting the planet falls to the wayside. And what about Cerebro? How much electricity does it take to power the Mutant Detector? And lest I forget the Blackbird… they really need to look into making the “X-Jet” electric powered, I’m sure it consumes more fossil fuels than most average humans do with SUVs. But as much as I jest about X-Meb collective, I’m sure several other X-Men, especially those with earth-focused mutation powers try hard to show everyone that without an earth, there won’t be a need for equality…
I also want to give a nudge to one supervillain who just might be a little misunderstood. Poison Ivy wins the award for being an Earth-champion, even if she takes it just a smidge too far. I happen to agree with her on some points though. The earth is overpopulated with humans. It’s one of the reasons why I’ve decided to not have children. But I’m not going to destroy mankind to make way for all my plant friends to take over. I still feel there is hope if we make some changes that humans, flora, and fauna can potentially all live in harmony.
But the number one winner for a comic book superhero conservation champion? That award goes to Groot. Groot is the symbol of hope for conservation. Even in his sacrifice, he promises new life and rebirth. We can only hope that Mother Nature will be able to rebound like Groot, but it will take all our superhero powers of commitment, strength, loyalty, and compassion to turn the tides and bring about the change that the earth needs. Groot is just the poster child for that movement!
Now, to return to Smallville. I wonder if Superman’s solar powered powers could be replicated to energize the world?