Superhero Weaknesses

The mother of Achilles made a small mistake when she dipped the lad into the River Styx.

  • She left his heel vulnerable and it led to his eventual downfall and the naming of the Achilles tendon.

Comic book superheroes are like Achilles in that they all have a weakness that their super villain counterparts can exploit. Superman’s sensitivity to Kryptonite is the best known weakness but there are many others. Batman will not kill his enemies. The Human Torch’s weakness is asbestos and “Asbestos Man”. Spider-Man is doomed by ethyl chloride, a common ingredient in insecticides. Before the 1980s Wonder Woman would be helpless if a man tied her hands but she overcame that weakness as the popularity of BSDM was rising. Ironically, a superhero with no weaknesses will soon succumb to reader boredom because weaknesses make us interesting and are an essential part of being human. One of my numerous weaknesses is an aversion to temperature extremes that I try to conquer with my HVAC unit. It normally performs like a superhero running quietly and unnoticed as it keeps my family comfortable all year round. But it has its weaknesses too. That dirty filter is like Kryptonite to my HVAC system as it begins to gasp for air until the filter is replaced. The Green Lantern can’t stand anything yellow. Likewise, my HVAC will creak and moan as grey dust and a brown film accumulate on the heating coils. My HVAC gets a visit from a qualified HVAC tech at least twice a year for cleaning and maintenance. The tech that I dubbed “Alfred” is to my HVAC what Batman’s Alfred is to the Caped Crusader. Alfred keeps Batman at his peak, just like my “Alfred” does with my HVAC system.

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