Robert Stevenson | @ap_527
The philosophical ponderings of our day are deep and weighty. Should we pray the imprecatory psalms? What would Jesus do? Free will or election? Kirk or Picard? Credit or Debit? And of course, every young boy’s favorite: if you could have any superpower, what would it be? Actually, I’ll have to answer that twice and cheat a little bit on the second answer... or else this will not be very funny.
Never stopped you before, Robert.
Oh! Rim shot!
You see, superhero movies and TV shows are currently all the rage. Suicide Squad, Deadpool, X-Men, Gotham, Spider-Man, all 89 Marvel MCU movies, shows, one-shots, and comic tie-ins. Even… *sigh* Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice (ugh, I feel dirty just typing that). And those are just the live action pieces. Throw in all of the animated versions on TV and streaming media and it’s enough to make a normal Joe feel, well…normal :/
But what if you didn’t have to be? What if you could fly? Or move at supersonic speed? Or have purple jeans that turn into snug, yet comfortable fitting shorts even when you turn green and grown nine feet tall (that is, about 2.74 meters if your country enjoys a Royale w/Cheese vs. a Quarter Pounder)? I revisited my 12 year old self (not a challenge, I promise you) and re-asked the old question:
If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
1st Superpower: Agapé.
Really. I cannot think of a greater ability that is not innate to humans than the power of perpetual, unfailing, unconditional, selfless sacrifice. To love at all times never thinking of one’s self? To have the ability to truly forgive from the heart no matter what? To die… for my haters… so they will have the absolute best… even if I must first endure the absolute worst?
What’s the matter? Too churchy an answer for you? Okay, let’s make it plain.
How about just being able to live with someone voluntarily in the same home, free of enmity and strife, until one of you dies (of natural causes) and the only time you try to one-up each other is when you’re seeing which one of you can gain the most fulfillment by making sure the other is fulfilled the most. Sound paradoxical? There’s more:
Every apology is sincere, preemptive, and accepted.
If you do not think that requires a superpower, or rather, a supernatural power, then… *whew*
Married folks, don’t say “amen”, just look an “amen” for me.
This is where I cheat. I am actually going to pick superhero here.
No, I am not going to cheat by saying “Jesus”. Duh. I’m a Christian. That is the default answer. That’s what we drill in your head in your every Sunday; “Jesus is the answer.”
*in a 4th grade classroom*
“Ameiere, what is 25 times 4?”
“No, Ameiere. Try again.”
“I learned in Sunday School that Jesus is the answer.”
“Uh…well, not for this. This is a math question.”
“Oh yeah? Well who invented math? ‘He is before all things and through Him all things consist!’”
“There ain’t a problem my God can’t fix.”
“CAUSE HE CAN DO IT…”
(rest of the class) “…IN THE MIX!!”
*</end potential ACLU civil case>*
Okay, so who would I pick? Superman? No thanks. Batman? Umm, no. Iron Man? Tempting, but I’ll pass. Green Lantern? Hmm. I do kinda like that ring…
First, my superhero is actually a team. Superheroes (you know, like the Wonder Twins). I have loved this team since I was a kid and I am sure you did too, though you might not have actually realized they had superpowers when you followed them back in the day. Their abilities are quite extraordinary:
Not too shabby, eh? So who is the team responsible for this wild list of abilities? What group holds all of these qualities, yet uses none of it for evil? Where can I find these heroes?
Really? I thought Robert was a Marvel fan.
No. Not DC Comics (which is owned by Warner Bros.).
I mean THE Warner Brothers.
…and the Warner Sister, Dot.
Now before you call shenanigans, take just one hour and watch the first three episodes of their show “Animaniacs” on Netflix. You will see 90-100% of the above list fulfilled within those three episodes, GUARANTEED*
Can’t spare an hour? Just watch the extended intro to “Animaniacs” on YouTube. It’s under 3 minutes. Your Hot Pocket takes longer to heat up. Give a quick click. You’ll still see most of the list there.
The Warners don’t count. They’re cartoons!
So is a hand-drawn Superman.
No, they’re animated.
So is Superman.
YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN!
Okay, how about their non-super, yet very admirable qualities:
All right, all right, fine. Argue with me on this one Christians: they strike fear in the heart of Satan (Vol. 1 , Ep. 30 - “Hot, Bothered, and Bedeviled”)
Argue with me on that one Johnny Biblethumper what what’s that you can’t that’s right I thought so good.
They are utterly selfish! They have contributed nothing to society but chaos!
Oh yeah? Then why did they help Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel (Vol. 1, Ep. 4)?
That didn’t really happen!
Oh? And Peter Quill’s abduction by aliens did? What if Luke Cage needs an appendectomy? How are doctors supposed to open up a man with indestructible skin? The Flash never swallows a fly while running? Wonder Woman never experiences turbulence while flying? Batman V Superman was a “good” movie? Suspend your disbelief. As many superheroes live in or near New York City, there shouldn’t even be a legit jaywalking case in that town. It’s just a story, people. It’s all fiction.
Yakko, Wakko, and Dot have a fantastic array of fully realized, tried and true superpowers; and when those powers are combined with their admirable character traits, they are unparalleled even within the confines of their own universe’s continuity (Freakazoid/Animaniacs/Tiny Toons/all classic Looney Tunes characters). I would put them up against almost any three superheroes (or villains) you can name. They only have one known weakness. Irritants? Plenty. Fears? More than a couple. But a true weakness? Only one.
Hot nurses and pre-2006 Meltdown Mel notwithstanding, The Warners Three were already a rotfl’ing force to be reckoned with when you first watched them in the 90’s.
Re-watch them in acknowledgement that they have mastery over matter, energy, time, and space.
Are you in the fetal position yet? Don’t be. This isn’t Mister Mxyzptlk or Star Trek’s “Q” we’re talking about. They’re not trying destroy your reality or fling you into the Delta Quadrant. They just want to make you laugh till you collapse.
And if you can’t have agapé, surely laughter with a side of Hammerspace is the next best thing.
Robert Stevenson is a Jesus-loving goofball from Indianapolis who believes life is too serious to be so serious. He teaches Sunday School to middle schoolers, probably because he's as mentally developed as they are. He's a bit of a clown so he married a beautiful woman who's addicted to giggling. He actually sits close to the front row. Don't tell Matt. Robert enjoys SNES games, cantaloupe, sci-fi, biblical cross-referencing, shattering stereotypes, and speaking in the third person. YOU can contact him on Twitter @ap_527.