All Your Capes Belong To Us

Beginning with the beginning of Batman in Batman Begins and spinning out all over every medium, from Marvel's cinematic beatdown of every other film to Walking Dead becoming one of the most popular shows on TV, it's been virtually impossible to avoid comic book adaptations.

Hollywood keeps making them and we keep paying to look at them; The Avengers is the 3rd highest grossing film of all time with a total box office of $1,511,757,910 (that's £985,212,629) and is the only film in the Top 3 not to be directed by James Cameron. That's an achievement in itself.

The ubiquity and domination of the American Super Hero is inescapable, so it's interesting to note that a fair few of the Star Spangled Cape and Cowl types are in fact not American at all. 

They're ours!

That chiseled Adonis posing thoughtfully in front of the stars and stripes is Superman; The Man of Steel. The last survivor of Krypton, sent to Earth to fight for Truth, Justice and the American Way! Or alternatively it's Colin's lad, Henry, from the Channel Islands.

Yes, he's British. Born in Jersey to a stockbroker and a secretary. He was in Midsomer Murders! That's about as British as it's possible to be. 

It isn't just the big blue boy scout who hails from these sceptered isles either. There's his darker, more brooding counterpart...

He may not be the Caped Crusader anymore, but Christian Bale is the most recent man to inhabit the Bat Cave and he's from Pembrokeshire. That's right. Batman's bloody Welsh! You remember his speech to the Joker from the end of Dark Knight Returns? "This city... just showed you... that's it's full... of people... ready to believe in good!" That one. Now strip away the gruff Batman voice and replace it with Tom Jones. Much better, I think you'll agree.

DC have handed the reigns to their two most famous characters over to us tea drinking rain lovers, but rival company Marvel aren't exactly doing much to assert America's independence from the crown.

Peter Parker. The Amazing Spider-Man. Born in Queens, New York. 
Andrew Garfield, the actor who plays him, born in... Los Angeles. BUT RAISED IN SURREY! 

Garfield attended the Central School for Speech & Drama in Hampstead and was in Doctor bloody Who! He's one of us! The Walking Dead's Rick Grimes might be a hard bitten sheriff from Georgia, but he's played by Andrew Lincoln from Teachers and This Life. Kick-Ass is English, born and raised in High Wycombe.

If you include both heroes AND villains, and expand your reach to from simply Britain the entire Commonwealth, we're shitting all over our colonial cousins.

Thor? Australian. 
Odin? Welsh
The Joker? Australian.
The Lizard? Welsh.
Green Hornet? Canadian (yes I'm including The Green Hornet, played by Seth Rogen. He's a super hero. Doesn't matter that the film was plops)
Doctor Octopus? He's from Paddington.
Loki? Westminster.
X-Men? More like X-Pats. 

Both Professor X's are from round here, Sir Patrick Stewart being from Yorkshire and James McAvoy hailing from Glasgow, plus Beast (Nicholas Hoult, Wokingham) and Beak (Dominic Monaghan, Manchester) and Gambit (Taylor Kitsch, Canada) and Juggernaut (Vinnie frigging Jones, Watford) and on and on. Even Wolverine, Mr Huge Ackman himself, is Australian. From the entire cinematic X-Men universe there are more than a dozen characters brought to life by those with a Union Jack somewhere in their nation's past. 

And yet James Bond remains British (except for George Lazenby, but he's Australian so it's cool.)

There's not one super hero movie that can be said to be exclusively American, and that's something to be proud of. It's an inherently American medium, fueled in the 90's by the so called "British Invasion" of writing and artistic talent. Now, in Space Year 2013, we've taken over the silver screen versions of that medium.

Which is... you know...


Words by Gazz Wood

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