Ordinary Heroes

Ordinary Heroes


My wife bawled her eyes out while we were watching Disney's Coco. Me? I didn't shed a tear. I thought it was a great movie, but I only ever get emotional about one thing: superheroes.

Remember the first Avengers film when all the Marvel characters were fighting in the streets of New York? Yup, I cried. Spoiler alert: no one died. But seeing them all fight as a team was a dream come true. 

I especially love superheroes such as Iron Man and Batman because they don't have mutant powers. They give me hope that one day I can become a superhero. To be like them, all I need is to be fabulously rich, which is remotely possible if I win the lottery - and arguably more likely than getting bitten by a radioactive spider.

Being an NSman, I suppose getting bitten by a radioactive mosquito during training would be more likely. But I'd probably just end up becoming a... "sucky" superhero.

I wouldn't mind becoming Ant Man. He's neither rich nor super-smart. Besides, being able to shrink to the size of an ant would make my home appear much bigger. (More space for me and my babies!)

I know some friends who would love to have Storm's powers, to make Singapore as cool as it was in January. Yeah, they were among those in trench coats and winter jackets along Orchard Road. 

But I believe that everyone already possesses special powers. I mean, during my NS days, everyone in my company could change from PT kit to Full Battle Order and back to PT kit in less than a minute. Without a telephone booth. Beat that, Man of Steel.

In fact, some of the superheroes out there were inspired by us ordinary humans. When the legendary Stan Lee created Tony Stark, he based Stark on Howard Hughes, an eccentric American billionaire.

My colleague could also be a superhero. You see, he's like Hawkeye, Cyclops and Nightcrawler combined - always "shooting arrows", using his eyes more than his hands and suddenly disappearing.

Speaking of local superheroes, do you remember VR Man, that masked TV crusader played by James Lye?

I think it's high time we had another. Maybe this time around we could have ERP Man, a resilient cyborg who is most formidable during peak hours but powerless on Sundays and public holidays.

A few weeks ago, my wife and I decided to watch a movie at home during "couple time". As it was my turn to pick, I chose Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. She wasn't impressed. She doesn't care for comic characters.

"Tell me, do you bleed?" I said, mimicking Batman's words to Superman in a key scene.

"Yes," my wife replied, rolling her eyes.

"In fact, I do so for five days every month without dying from it. Beat that."

This article was first featured in NSMAN Magazine (May/June 2018) Issue.

You can find the article and magazine issues online via the NSman app.

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