Superheroes in the Age of Social Distancing

Storm Relaxing at Home

We’re in the middle of a very strange time. A global pandemic has forced us to stay home and stay away from others, bringing the world to a screeching halt. The 24-hour news cycle is exhausting and scary, leading many of us to try and escape in various forms of media. With all this extra time on my hands, I was staring at the ceiling for what felt like five minutes but was more likely six days, and I got this really dope idea: How are superheroes handling social distancing? 

Some of them are more than likely coping better than others. They may be super, but they’re still human (for the most part). And one look at how stir crazy some of you have been on Twitter makes me confident some of the heroes that we worship would be losing their damn minds being stuck at home. And some would be completely fine, soaking in all of the alone time. 

Let’s imagine for a moment that the villains are also practicing social distancing. It’s not so far-fetched. This is their world too. If they get sick, it would compromise their ability to rob banks, steal precious gems, and blow up the city. And if you still don’t want to buy into this, remember that The Joker wiped his hands with hand sanitizer before blowing up a hospital in The Dark Knight. It’s that level of chaotic energy that we’re dealing with here. 

Mans just touched Harvey Dent! Dude is missing half his face. Gotta wash that off.

The Content

This is a small group of heroes that are otherwise suited to hunker down and stay in the house for a bit. Maybe they’re introverts, or maybe they just need a break. Whatever the reason. These heroes are ready to not see anyone for the foreseeable future.

Black Panther & Wakanda

Black Panther practicing social distancing just in case. Artwork by Brian Stelfreeze.

Listen. Do I really need to elaborate on this? Wakanda ain’t got no coronavirus cases. You already know they keep them borders on lockdown. They’re the real social distancing champions. They’d help keep the global economy afloat in the midst of all of these countries losing so much money from shutting everything down. Shuri would develop a vaccine from a rare mountain flower in the hills of the Jabari lands. M’Baku would help her distribute it to the rest of the world in solidarity. T’Challa, not to be outdone, would create a reusable, self-sustaining synthetic Vibranium face mask with 110% accuracy. That extra 10% creates a personal disinfectant barrier around the wearer’s face and head. Any bacteria that reach the barrier would be eradicated immediately. COVID-19? Never heard of him. Coronavirus? We don’t do that here. 

Deadpool

Deadpool 2 teaser, cooking with Deadpool Chimichanga | Amazing ...

My guy Wade Wilson would really be chillin’ during all of this. Sure, he’s a gun for hire and he likes gettin’ that schmoney, and he has a healing factor that would protect him from The Rona but he also likes goofing around and doing nothing. Even when he should be paying more attention to the task at hand, he’s really just one of us. The first thing he’d do is panic buy every local grocery store’s stock of frozen chimichangas. You’ve gotta stay as healthy as possible during this trying time. With the food al stocked up, DP would spend his social distancing time dancing to 80’s one-hit wonders, watching Susan Sarandon’s entire filmography while vehemently sobbing, and after the days turn into weeks and people stopped tuning into his Instagram Live cooking tutorials, he’d probably play around with killing himself to pass the time. Bubble bath featuring a plugged-in toaster? Check. Sticking metal in the microwave? Double-check. Eating that moldy bread in the back of his fridge from 2008? You already know. Deadpool is gonna come out of this feeling refreshed and recharged, ready to cut up his next target with a renewed sense of purpose. So, you better keep watching his IG live before he gets offended.

Luke Cage & Jessica Jones

Danielle Cage. Te contamos la historia de la Capitán América del ...

A lot of superheroes are reluctant ones. Many are burdened by the responsibility that falls on their shoulders as they know they can do things that so many others can’t. But when you’re a superhero and you have a kid? That just changes everything. That’s what Luke Cage and Jessica Jones would have to grapple with during the coronavirus crisis. They’ll take any excuse to spend more time with their daughter. So, a state mandate to stay inside is all they needed to hang up the yellow t-shirt and leather jacket for a bit and get some of that quality time in and grow as a family. Luke especially would be happy to be home because while he may have impenetrable skin and super strength, a virus can still kick his ass. And if any criminals decide to try and take advantage of everything being closed, they better hope Luke & Jessica don’t show up, because they’ll have a huge ax to grind for disturbing their family time. 

The Miserable

This is a group that would absolutely not be able to handle spending time in the house for a prolonged period of time. They may have superpowers and cool expensive gadgets, but their lives revolve around doing things and being involved. Sitting still would not be an option they would have ever considered if they weren’t forced.

Batman

Batman

You might think that Batman would be ready for something like this. He already broods in the shadows, keeping his distance from anyone unless absolutely necessary, and he’s got everything he needs at home. But you’d be wrong. Because the number one thing Batman needs is to be feared. The number two thing he needs is to beat people up. Without both of those things, my guy would be in shambles. This guy would 100% not be having a good time at home. Batman wouldn’t for a second believe that his rogue’s gallery would miss the opportunity to wreak havoc on an empty city, so he’d still try and go out on patrol every night, looking for trouble. I could imagine a world where The Joker would convince, bribe, or threaten the villains in Gotham to stay indoors, just to drive Batman insane. So, Gotham would be quiet. There wouldn’t even be a dime bag drug dealer to beat to a pulp or a bodega thief to throw off a rooftop. Batman would eventually go home, with nothing to do other than beat up punching bags and throw heavy tires around the batcave while Alfred brings him food. He’d pull three-a-days while anxiously watching a live feed of the city to make sure there isn’t anyone out there disobeying the mandate to stay indoors. Batman would emerge from this quarantine with 50 extra pounds of muscle, no neck, negative two shades of pigment, and an itchy clenched fist that might let off a left hook at a “hello.”

Teen Titans

Pin on Teen Titans

The Teen Titans (And I’m talkin’ cartoon Titans specifically) are another group of heroes that you might think would relish in the opportunity to stay home. And you’d be right for the first week. This hyper group of teens would love being able to chill in their gigantic oceanside T-shaped building and do nothing more than play video games and eat junk food until the end of time. But after a few days, I guarantee you they’d be at each other’s throats. Raven would last all but five minutes before she Azarath Metrion Zinthos’d herself into her room to meditate. Cyborg, Beast Boy, and Robin would be hogging the video games, and Starfire would get angry and destroy their console in a fit of rage, then shut herself in her room with Silkie. Beast Boy and Cyborg would make up after a while, but they’d both lock themselves in their rooms after a while for fear of having to hear Robin talk about himself for one more second. And that’s the moment Raven would emerge from her room and come outside to some nice peace and quiet. 

The Flash

Flash Hd Wallpaper - Francis Manapul Flash (#894283) - HD ...

My guy Barry Allen would not be able to handle this social distancing by staying at home. A second feels like a year to this man. And sitting still is the exact opposite of his mission statement. Flash would go so stir crazy at the thought of slowing down, that he would teach himself the science of medicine, create a test and a vaccine for the virus, and use all of his excess speed force energy to distribute it to the world before noon. Sometimes what you don’t want can be a great motivator. 

The Immune

These are the heroes on the frontlines. They’re immune to this thing so they’re doing their part to help complement and uplift all of the essential workers from hospitals and grocery stores. They’re the ones helping enforce social distancing, challenging any crooks trying to get a quick and easy score, and protecting the planet from any outside forces. 

Superman & Fam

Bendis Promises Lois and Jon Will Return to Both “Action Comics ...

Superman would try to enjoy time with Lois and Jon back on the Kent farm. But the looming fact that his Kryptonian DNA makes him immune to coronavirus would eat him up inside. He’d instead decide to go out and patrol to make sure people are practicing social distancing accordingly. He’d bring Jon along so they can bond, and learn the powerful lesson that if you can, you should. At the end of every day, they would bring food to hospitals to show their gratitude for all the hard work they’re doing. Lois would interview doctors and nurses as they reveal what it’s like to work in these hospitals that are in desperate need of a sufficient amount of supplies and equipment. And as a recurring correspondent for a 24-hour news channel, she’d tell their stories to the world, shedding a light on the incompetence of the government. Once the day is done, they’d all convene for dinner at dusk and talk about their day. Afterward, Jon would have to do his homework. The Smallville School District doesn’t have Zoom yet. 

Martian Manhunter & Miss Martian

Martian | Young Justice Wiki | Fandom

Our two favorite Martians would be here making sure no criminals are trying to capitalize on the current state of things. For the most part it’s been pretty quiet, but every now and again you’ll get someone trying to get some quick dough from an abandoned bakery or someone trying to poison the water supply. But instead of beating them up, J’onn and M’gann would take a different approach. They’d get into the heads of these criminals and make them believe they succeeded in their crime instead of simply giving them an ass-whooping. They’d then promptly drop them in a prison cell, making them think that they’re at home & just pulled off a big score. The effects of this fabrication will wear off when the social distancing mandate ends. Until then, they won’t know that they didn’t actually do what they thought they did. Don’t you love mind games?

Green Lantern(s)

Introducing Jo Mullein: DC Comics' Far Sector's Iconic New Green ...Our *checks notes* seven resident Green Lanterns of sector 2814 would all return home to help out. But even though their rings create a barrier around them rendering them safe from the virus, they’re not really needed on the surface. While everyone is staying as safe as possible down on the ground, Earth is super susceptible to any type of attack from space. So, with their collective willpower, John Stewart, Jo Mullein, Simon Baz, Jessica Cruz, Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner, and Hal Jordan create a barrier around Earth to help slow any threat that might come their way. And in the meantime, they all chill at the Watchtower where they get to know each other in great detail. This would be the first time they’ve all been around each other. John and Jo share military stories, Jessica and Kyle talk about working from home. Simon and Guy argue about everything, but they all share a passion for roasting Hal Jordan.

So, there you have it. Superheroes would be handling this very similar to us. Some would be going crazy at home with nothing to do. Others would be finding themselves in the middle of all the silence. And the ones that can help with the best of their ability will do so without hesitation. But all of them would still agree that staying home and staying safe is the right thing to do in this unique fight that we find ourselves in. So even if you’re like Batman and you’re itching to punch someone, just smash a hole in the wall for the time being. I promise you it’ll be worth it in the long run. You can always fix up a wall with a hole in it. You can’t bring someone back from the dead. So please, stay inside and avoid crowds or Martian Manhunter will show up and stare at you with disappointment until you go home. 

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Storm Relaxing at Home

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  • Morgan Hampton

    Staff Writer

    Morgan Hampton is a writer--OH MY GOD I CAN ACTUALLY SAY THAT NOW. *ahem* Excuse me, sorry for that outburst. As I was saying, Morgan Hampton is a writer currently living in San Francisco with an obsession for all things nerd (except Medieval stuff. Get outta here with that mess), and a passion to represent the underrepresented. He's an aspiring comic book writer so catch him in the funny pages some time before the apocalypse. He holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from SFSU so he's broke.

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