Let’s face it: The origins, powers and lifestyles of superheroes can be down right scary and disgusting to hypochondriacs and germaphobes like me. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life wondering what kind of diseases a radioactive spider can give me. And believe me, I’m not a traditionalist on this issue, but I’d much rather have web-shooters than waking up to find sticky, white rope leaking out of both my wrists.
I’ve bugged my family doctor for much less than that.
So, here’s my top five superheroes a hypochondriac and germaphobe never want to be:
1. Spiderman: I’ve been bitten by plenty of insects, and, being a hypochondriac, the psychological effects were always a 1,001 times worse than the tiny, non-lethal bump left on my flesh. Now, if I had ever been bitten by a radioactive spider, my gut reaction wouldn’t have been to test out my new powers, or try wresting. To tell you the truth, this would actually be fine at first. I wake up with better eye sight, super strength and a danger sense so powerful, I’d know to never let Spiderman 3 happen. But once I make the connection to the radioactive spider, my severe hypochondria would go into overdrive. What the hell is happening to me? Radiation! Am I turning into a spider? Radiation! I just sneezed…is my flesh going got start peeling off next? Radiation! Why do I suddenly have a taste for spandex? Radiation! And of course: What do you mean there’s an ultimate version of myself that has webs shooting out of his wrists? Damn the radiation! Eventually, I rush to the emergency room, visit my doctor’s office everyday and rack up more medical bills and payments for iodine pills than I can keep up with. I lose my home. Is it that harsh Parker luck? Nope. I’m not Peter Parker. Who am I? I’m a hypochondriac.
2. Batman: It isn’t Batman’s origin story or “powers” that make me want to reach for some Purell (with that suit and utility belt of his, he may actually be a hypochondriac). The problem is Batman’s rouges gallery. After a tumble with any one of them, I’d be freaked out for years that I caught something frightful. What respectable hypochondriac is going to go against Scarecrow? All that gas giving off those horrible side effects. Just imagine how much more afraid he can make a germaphobe of public toilet seats (aka public transportation), gas pumps and people who don’t wash their hands. What was that? Mark from two cubicles down didn’t wash his hands? He went straight from the urinal back to his desk? In my best deep, over the top Christian Bale voice, “Run!” I wouldn’t touch the Joker with a two foot Batarang. And I’m pretty sure after Bruce’s, ahem, “encounter” with Poison Ivy in The Long Halloween, I, and especially any woman, wouldn’t want to go near him. At the end of it all, Bruce, please just go see a doctor.
3. Mr. Fantastic: At first, I considered making this the entire Fantastic Four. Getting hit with cosmic radiation and developing the symptoms that those four adventurers did would freak out any hypochondriac. But Mr. Fantastic is a special case. It isn’t just the extreme elasticity (Oh my God! I can bend backwards and touch my forehead at the time. What’s wrong with me?!) The guy’s a genius, and he’s probably been to more worlds and dimensions than anyone. He most likely knows thousands of viruses and diseases that no one else has ever heard of. You don’t want to be a hypochondriac with that kind of knowledge. A simple sneeze might make you think you picked something up from that last visit to the Skrull home world. A sinus infection may be something deadly from the Negative Zone. And a sudden twitch in the eye might be something a seedy electron passed on to you from that visit to Superego, The Living Atom. Knowledge doesn’t just kill, or turn you into a cold-calculating jerk at times. To the hypochondriac who possesses it, knowledge tortures.
4. The Incredible Hulk: Hulk smash, because Hulk have no idea what wrong with Hulk. Hulk smash, because Hulk freaked out, because Hulk’s skin is green, gray, red, and when Hulk not smash, it’s white and puny, which make Hulk then want to smash again! Hulk also talk in third person only. What is wrong with Hulk?! WebMD says Hulk screwed! Spiderman say radiation! Hulk sick! Hulk can’t stop freaking out over what wrong with Hulk… Hulk smash, Smash, SMASH! And, thus, World War Hulk happened, because he’s a hypochondriac. Sorry for the spoiler.
5. Superman: You may ask, “But, Sam, what would be so bad about being a hypochondriac and invincible in every single way conceivable? If I were Superman, and I caught the sniffles, I would freak out and want to know what the #@$% is so horrible and deadly that it makes me, Superman, blow my invincible nose!