Which superhero can save the (real) world?


First aired on Day 6 (15/06/13)

Superheroes were created to save the world, but the problems they're up against are fictional. So what if the superheroes we know and love were dropped into the real world to fight evil? Day 6 looked at the three superheroes from this summer's blockbusters: Iron Man, Superman and Wolverine and put them to the test. According to a panel of experts, each hero has massive potential in our world: Superman is the ultimate diplomat, Iron Man is a rich industrialist out to protect capitalist interests and Wolverine is the guy you call when looking for lawless mass destruction. But could any one hero be enough for our modern day problems?

As the ultimate diplomat, Superman is best suited to fight against international crises. "The whole idea of Superman as a concept is inspiration, is hope, is assisting people when they can no longer assist themselves... he always enters into everything like 'I want to know what's happening before I hit you'," Jay Bardyla, co-owner of Happy Harbor Comics in Edmonton, said to Day 6 host Brent Bambury. Stephen Saideman, a professor and holder of the Paterson Chair in International Affairs at Carleton University agrees and says Superman would be an excellent hero to send into North Korea. "He's multidimensional in his powers so he could probably handle all the threats that North Korea poses to its neighbourhood."

You can just forget about sending Iron Man and Wolverine to North Korea. Wolverine is useless at taking out nuclear missiles and Iron Man's politics would interfere with saving the world from North Korea's nuclear threats. "Wolverine doesn't have the speed or tact to deal with things, Wolverine is your guy to go to when you just need to get the dirty job done...with Wolverine you're getting a weapon you're not getting the diplomat or industrialist you would with the Iron Man or Superman character," Bardyla said.

But Superman isn't perfect. The hero experts agree that he wouldn't help the problems in Syria. There's only one hero up for that challenge and that's Tony Stark as Iron Man. "That guy has got charisma, suave and money to really make any problem look good and go away." Bardyla said. Saideman adds that Iron Man is perfect "given his relationship with defence contracting over the years, [he] would know how to target the right stuff and the right ways to limit the damage."

Superman may be able to do the world the most good but Iron Man has the craftiness, edge and plans to get things done in the modern world. Bardyla explains that he's portrayed as a futurist in the comics and on screen. "He is the man who sees the path of the way that things should be and how to get there, he looks, he assesses and he plans and prepares for the future. At the same time he develops a crazy amount of technology and revises it and adapts it."

What do you think? What superhero can save the world?

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