Green Superheroes

Superheroes have for many years fought for causes and faced up to threats that are too large, too complicated or too politically sensitive for us to stand up to in real life. This way they provide a great sense of escapism, of wish fulfillment and of inspiration, and they provide a great influence in some cases on how we live our lives. In these moments superheroes transcend their medium and become something bigger, using their iconic status to interpret and even direct the course of real world events. Thus it only makes sense that heroes should take on board one of the biggest issues of the 21st century and look at the environment. So what do green superheroes have to say about global warming and other eco-issues.

There are many green superheroes in terms of color. The Green Lantern for instance, Green Arrow, The Incredible Hulk and Swamp Thing. Part of the reason for this was that in those days, green superheroes were easy and cheap to color, and would stand out against the other colors on the page (also the reason that almost every female Marvel character had red hair). These green superheroes had nothing really to do with the environment – though Green Arrow had a decidedly eco-friendly origin story as he learned to work with his surroundings for survival when stranded on an island. This story was re-told most recently in the TV series Smallville.

Back then though, going green was not as much of a hot topic and there was much less understanding about global warming or the energy crisis. In Superman 4 though, Christopher Reeves made a statement on world peace (with eco-consequences) by confiscating the world’s nuclear arsenal and launching them into space (reportedly Christopher Reeves’ own idea). This was taken further when Superman later fought a nemesis by the name of Nuclear Man. Interestingly this behavior directly went against the rules and laws that the Superman franchise set for him in the first film – that he could not interfere with the larger affairs of man. To do so would be to impose his will on us and to therefore mis-use his powers. This is a stance taken by many superheroes, which is perhaps why there are relatively few green superheroes.

One superhero who has tackled the subject more head-on in recent times though is Iron Man – perhaps one of the more surprising green superheroes. Iron Man’s alter-ego Tony Stark is an inventive genius who uses his incredible intellect to tackle the world’s problems. Under writer Matt Fraction’s reigns, Tony Stark has taken it up himself to provide the world with free clean energy having invented such a power source; the ‘repulsor’. He starts by targeting car manufacturers and by creating his own vehicle for public consumption called the ‘Stark Resilient’. He is certainly one of the more proactive green superheroes, but as is the nature of any comic he is not without those trying to scupper his plans.

Another superhero whose whole schtick was about being good to the planet was star of a Saturday morning children’s cartoon somewhat before his time. ‘Captain Planet’ was one of the green superheroes, and drew his power from the Earth itself in order to prevent pollution and corruption of his home. Many other characters in comics such as Swamp Thing, Wonder Woman and Namor have dealt with issues surrounding pollution and global warming – and all superheroes are green superheroes in a way.

14 Responses to “Green Superheroes”

  1. Brianna says:

    These green superheroes are only legends. Why don’t we talk about real heroes? About people who are doing something for this planet.
    Your green superheroes haven’t done anything real. They are just part of some stories.

    • Nutze says:

      I like this article about green superheroes. However I tend to agree with Brianna. These green superheroes are just stories. Let’s call them science fiction. I want to talk about real stuff too.

    • Jacinda says:

      I agree with you on this. What have any of these guys done for the planet? Nothing except bring us some entertainment. I want to see leaders who are doing something to make the Earth a better place. Ones that really care for our planet.

  2. Ianna says:

    From all these green superheroes Iron Man is my favorite. I loved that movie. I like the idea of the movie. I also like how he manages with bad guys and the fact that the hero is a genius. Strong and intelligent men are my type.
    So, on my list of green superheroes Iron Man is in the first place.

  3. Radu says:

    Why is the Incredible Hulk part of the green superheroes? Only because it is green? I thought that green superheroes are the ones who have done some green stuff, like Iron Man. He really deserves to be part of the green superheroes. He has invented that power source to provide the world with free clean energy.

  4. Lelainia says:

    So, the Green Lantern and the Green Arrow are not really green superheroes. They haven’t done anything for the environment. So, why did you put them on this green superheroes list? Because of their color? Only because ‘green’ is part of their names?

    • Mardun says:

      Yeah, these green superheroes are not at all what he said they are. These 2 green superheroes are only green. Only their color helped them to be mentioned in this post. A true green superhero is Ironman. He has truly done something for the environment.

  5. Marman says:

    I never really thought about superheros as being green. I thought that it was interesting in the fact that red was used for all females hair color because it stood out. Guess you learn something new everyday.
    I have seen IronMan and it is true that he is green. Maybe more superheroes can take in his lead and go green.

  6. Tutumo says:

    ‘Captain Planet’ was my favorite cartoon. And he still is.
    Captain Planet is definitely one of the green superheroes. He really wanted to help the planet. Preventing pollution was one of his goals. He and Ironman are 2 of the most important green superheroes.

  7. Desdemon says:

    I do not agree with some of your green superheroes. Some of them don’t have any business regarding green superheroes. Some of them you called this way only because of their color. For example Hulk or Green Lantern. And about some of them I haven’t even heard about.

  8. Vincent says:

    One of my favorite green superheroes is captain planet. Green lantern is cool as well.

    Nevertheless, we should have real green superheroes too. Not only SF green superheroes. Maybe you can make a list. xD

  9. Marcs says:

    From all your green superheroes I like Hulk the most. I’ve seen all its cartoons and movies. When I was little I was impressed by his power. It was, and it still is, my favorite from all those green superheroes. Are there any people who think like me?

  10. Bingo says:

    There are indeed many green superheroes in terms of color. You reminded about Green Lantern, Hulk, Green Arrow. But these aren’t green superheroes. They are not doing anything green beside their color. They are just superheroes in some cartoons.

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