Monday, 31 August 2009

Power Trip 7 - Flight

Well now that we've had a look at Mimic I feel satisfied in cranking out another Power Trip, looking at superpowers as they appear in Heroes and looking at where the ideas for these abilities come from, whether they are borrowed from other superheroes or an original creation of the show.

Well, no points for knowing that flight is a well established power within the superhero fratenity as it is a fascinating and clear way of showing that a person is 'something more'. When the show took us to a future where abilities where the norm, the quickest way of demoing this was by showing a bunch of people flying off.

The first character in the show to demonstrate this power is Nathan Petrelli, brother to Peter, discussed in the last power trip. Initially he vehemently denies his power, but is forced to expose it when his brother jumps of a rooftop convinced that he himself can fly. Nathan's power progresses over the series, showing that he can fly at near supersonic speeds, carry people over long distances and his landings improve also.

Flight powers tend to split into two categories: natural and self-propelled. Natural flight (my term) applies to flyers who have sprouted wings or other appendages, such as Angel from the X-Men. Another category I suppose is heroes who have built flying devices or suits, like Iron Man. Self-propelled is a more common category. The hero can, by an unseen force, simply lift themselves off the ground and fly away.

There is an iconic mythical reference to flight in the form of Icarus, who constructed wings for himself and could fly, his only flaw being in flying too high and melting his wings, ending his maiden voyage with a decisive crash back to Earth. Of course, at the time many of the Gods had domain over the air and had the power of flight as well as the superpowers of other legends.

The wish for flight is simple and powerful because it's one we've felt I think, who has looked at the birds and not once felt envy or never dreamed of soaring above the clouds. Men dreamed and put incredible energy into achieving the dream of flying machines that now take thousands of customers all across the world. It is a simple expression that really sums up all of the superpowers - the desire to be more than we are, to be able to do more than we can do. This is something of a selfish desire, ignoring the many great things humanity can already do and the accomplishments our race has made. Yet, perhaps it is right, to acknowledge that we could be much more - however I don't think the problem is a lack of wings...

As I said flight is common in the superhero world, with self-propelled flight becoming the norm and any number of heroes, old and new, possess the ability. I could mention some of the more famous names, but i think that would be insluting your intelligence so I'll just leave a picture if this guy, assume you were already thinking of him and leave it as 'nuff said.

Heroes has continued to exploit the flight power as mentioned and a few other heroes have exhibited the power, most notably West Rosen, a rather wooden character in my opinion, whose main reason for existence seems to be to fill the gap needed in each series of 'guy for Claire to snog' - he did come in to his own by the end of series 2 and they are making good use of the character in the comics at the moment. Peter frequently borrows the ability from his brother and 'Angie' a REBEL member (in the comics) also could fly away when needed.

It seems flight (self-propelled or not) will continue to be a common sight wherever superheroes are present. I think that's enough from me - a belated movie post coming soon, any high flyers we should know about Sam?

1 comment:

Samuel Li said...

Ugh...This could lead to a very long post...I'll try and write about some of the more obscure ones :D