10 Superheroes The World Needs Right Now

Strange heroes for strange times.

super movie
IFC Films

What the world needs now is not love sweet love but superheroes capable of cutting through all the chatter created by partisan politics. Driven by a sense of fairness rather than any particular party affiliation, they’ll stand for truth and justice in the 21st Century.

Failing that, we could always fall back on clownish superheroes like Radioactive Man and Fall Out Boy, whose ineptitude turned out to be surprisingly entertaining. They didn’t stand for squat, had no known political affiliations and their adventures didn’t even take place in the real world, but there’s something to be said for a superhero who takes on his enemies with the zinger, “Up and atom.”

With a few notable exceptions, though, most superheroes these days come across as po-faced and humourless. Their films hit us with two and a half hours of noise and explosions but aren’t much fun to watch, and as Lyndon Johnson probably never said, “What good is a superhero movie without the fun?”

Here, then, are the 10 superheroes who need to be called into action once more. They won’t take a stand against inequality or solve the world’s problems, but when it comes to fighting vampire cows and Mexican mummies, nobody’s better.

10. El Santo

super movie
Columbia Pictures

You’ve got to have a luchador on a list like this, and the greatest Mexican wrestler of all time is El Santo, who battled vampires, zombies, mummies and mad scientists, always keeping his identity hidden behind his silver mask.

El Santo is one of the most noble and inspiring heroes ever to grace to screen, and when he’s not fighting crime he’s teaching kids about fairness in sport. Then a group of bare-chested Martians will show up and start vaporizing people with their helmet-mounted laser guns, so it falls to Santo to save the day by challenging them to a wrestling match.

He says things like, “I have to go on the way my ancestors did and eliminate evil of any kind” and constantly threatens to bring the fight to those who oppose peace and democracy. His opinion of the 45th American President, however, remains unrecorded.

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Ian Watson is the author of 'Midnight Movie Madness', a 600+ page guide to "bad" movies from 'Reefer Madness' to 'Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead.'