Why superheroes need to be loners

09/19/14 arun 0 Comments

If you can fly faster than an aircraft, or shoot lasers with your eyes or stop a train with your bare hands, why do you need to be a loner?

Superman clearly is, living in an Arctic home called the Fortress of Solitude. Batman, who makes up for his lack of superpowers with an astounding mastery of technology and the martial arts, retreats to his Batcave, tended to only by his butler, played by none other than Michael Caine in the recent film franchise directed by Christopher Nolan.

These are the most enduring superheroes in popular culture, yet why are they loners, with no significant friends or relatives whatsoever to relate to?

Agreed, Superman and Batman were both orphaned as children, and Superman had to take on the travails of living life on a different planet than where he was born, but surely, given their gifts and talents, they could have picked up a couple of chums along the way.

Probably, it is a literary conceit and a narrative device to keep superheroes alone. After all, it would be very odd to see Batman come home to a family dinner and nagging wife after spending his day fighting off the Joker and saving Gotham city.

The solitary life has its moments for superheroes, even if they don’t use the time alone to compose immortal verse, or worse.