Earlier today I was browsing my facebook updates, procrastinating and just plain ol’ wasting time when I came across a picture of the villain in the forthcoming batman movie. This villain is called “Bane”. He is apparently a super genius who creates some form of serum (it’s known as venom) that makes him a super human juggernaut. In other words he develops some sort of super steroid that make him immensely powerful with an enhanced capacity to heal…hmm interesting, where else have we heard that one before? Maybe in the recently released captain america movie, where captain america is essentially a guy on steroids.
So in one case steroids make a man the villain, and in the next case they make another man a hero.
In fact there have been quite a few action/comic book movies where the hero or the villain was nothing more than an average guy who took some sort of drug or was infected or exposed to some sort of chemical reaction that makes them super strong and super big.
Apart from aliens from other planets like superman, or mutants who were born this way, it seems that hollywood, comic book fiction and even pro sports is teaching us that an effective way to become a hero is to take steroids…but you’re only a hero if you don’t get caught.
…and that is the apparent paradox.
In real life steroids are looked down upon as some sort of taboo. When a sports figure it caught using them it’s considered cheating, unsportsmanlike and just plain old ‘wrong’. But before those same sports figures are caught when they are achieving super human feats of strength, power or endurance we all tune in and revere them for their seemingly super human abilities. For example, the ratings for baseball were amazing when Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds were breaking/setting/and re-breaking the homerun record.
Well we all know how that story ended…most of those home runs were hit with the extra thump of steroid induced muscle…but at the time it was happening nobody cared because we were watching something that was truly ‘superhuman’…as in, no normal/natural non chemically enhanced human can do this! It was like seeing a comic book hero come to life. And then when they were finally exposed for using drugs, they became the villain.
Here is the short list of steroid induced hero’s and villain’s (or something that is similar to steroids in that its some sort of chemical or gas or reaction of an external compound that makes them a super huge ass kicking muscle machine)
Bane (Bad guy in the next batman movie) – His vemon is a form of serum that gives him massive strength and muscle size)…in other words; a guy who was smart enough to develop his own steroids
Captain America (Good guy from the recently released movie) – Skinny twerp given super soldier serum giving him super human strength labelled as the ‘pinnacle of human development’)…in other words; a guy on steroids developed by the military
Incredible Hulk (Sometimes good guy, sometimes bad guy) – Gamma radiation alters his DNA allowing him to become super humanly strong and immune to harm…in other words; a guy who was accidentally exposed to radiation that makes him look like he’s on steroids when he is pissed off
Abomination (Bad guy from the recent incredible hulk movie) – Emil Blonsky see’s what the gamma radiation accident did to Bruce Banner to turn him into the hulk. Blonsky willingly subjects himself to the same radiation in order to gain super human strength…in other words: a guy who purposefully exposed himself to radiation to make him look like he is on steroids.
Human Juggernaut (Bad Guy) – has a magical gem that gives him super huaman power, strength size and durability)…in other words; a guy who found a new type of steroid in gem form
Black Panther (Good Guy) – Eats a special herb that gives him super human strength, agility, speed and power to the ‘peak of human development’)…in other words; a guy who is on ‘herbal’ steroids
Mr Hyde (Good guy from the movie the league of extraordinary gentlemen) – When Dr. Jekyll ingests a chemical concoction it gives him super human strength size and stamina and an invulnerability to harm)…in other words; a doctor who developed his own steroids
Nick Fury (Good guy from recent marvel movies Iron Man, Thor, and the upcoming avengers movie) – Infinity Formula keeps him from ever aging…ok so it’s not necessarily the same as a steroid that makes him huge, but eternal youth is even better…in other words; a guy on anti aging drugs
Green Goblin (Bad guy from the recent spider man movies) – Norman Osborn takes his own serum that he was developing for the military as a super soldier formula, it gives him super human strength, power, agility and speed)…in other words: a billionaire CEO contracted by the government to create a steroid, who took his own drug once he created it.
Ok so those are just comic books, what about hollywood celebrities that portray other non comic book action hero’s? Well we got Rocky and Rambo and we know Stallone has been found with growth hormone. We got the Terminator and Conan and we know Schwarzenegger has admitted to using steroids. We got WWE wrestlers like Hulk Hogan who have been caught using steroids, and the list goes on and on.
Hmm…do we have any action hero’s at all that aren’t on steroids?…not likely.
It seems to me that comic books, hollywood and professional sports all teach us that drug use is synonymous with being both the hero and the villain. In hollywood and comic books both good and bad guys use drugs to get superhuman powers. In professional sports and hollywood athletes and celebrities use drugs to be the best at what they do and adored as a hero, but as soon as they are exposed for using drugs they are regarded as a villain.
I guess this is why celebrities and sports figures who use drugs never tell anyone and only admit it once they’re caught red handed. The day they are exposed is the day they go from drug induced hero, to drug abusing villain.