You’re all welcome in advance.
As one of the dread millennials, I have seen my fair share of superhero blockbusters-and as I am a nerd who has some comic-book nerd friends, I have seen many-and have managed to pinpoint key moments where it all goes downhill for the unfortunate suburban sexpot. You know who I’m talking about-male or female, this romantic interest has managed to nail the casual forest-hues Henley top and unfailingly tousled waves. Sometimes they get to have memorable personalities, sometimes they are just written in as placeholders for heartache. If said walking tragedy breaks up with the hero/ine, it’s just because they hate seeing their paramour wounded so frequently, or maybe they don’t spend enough time together, or they lose their memory, or…THEY JUST DIE.
Uncle Ben and the Wayne parents are the most notorious tragic backstories, but as you are presumably not billionaires nor aging uncles to awkward teens (or maybe you are, in which case I will tackle your problem another time), you are more likely to be either the friend, the frenemy, the enemy, the friend-turned-lover, the frenemy-turned-lover, the enemy-turned-lover, the lover-turned friend, or maybe just a cheery classmate with a bright future-the point is, you’re fucked.
But advice-giver (I hear you complain), what if I’M the hero/ine? See my Uncle Ben and Wayne parents excuse. Plus, at least you get to look good in Henleys and bedhead. Swings and roundabouts?
So you love hanging with your nerdy and good-natured yet conspicuously flakey and muscular friend, and recently people have tried to kidnap you (unfortunate) or just flat out kill you-ooh, or maybe try to brainwash YOU into killing your hot friend/true love?
Worry not. You have options.
1.) Identify the hero/ine right away as such and keep that friendship super platonic and distant. Avoid taking pictures/having picnics together and only ever refer to him/her as your “gym buddy”. Does the gym buddy ever get killed? No. Plus, now you have a gym buddy.
2.) Get petty–stock up on pepper spray and your own foul-mouthed catchphrases to yell prior to your untimely alien planet death. You may still get sucked up into the world-destroying vortex, but you’ll go out with a bang and middle finger raised. Yippee-ki-yay, Sauron.
3.) Become a villain–always a fun time. It’s a little predictable, yes, but if you were looking for an excuse to dump the hero/ine anyway, at least now you get better dialogue, nicer outfits, potential for character development, and well-planned attacks that are only vulnerable to dumb luck and Lingering Feelings of Love and Friendship.
4.) Just be Over It–your captors may not like the whole bored and blasé attitude, but at this point you are just critiquing strategy and response time. Try to get the evil minions to let you bring along a book or craft project. This also gives you opportunity to maybe eventually save yourself, or build up to saving the hero/ine.
5.) Be a hero. A jukebox hero–what, you thought I was going to advise you to get out there and be your own superhero, right? Thus getting to rescue folks, save the day, and oh, I don’t know, having to deal with YOUR OWN TRAGIC BACKSTORY? Fuck that. Go be a rockstar. You have prime material for a debut album-write a song about your experiences and sell it to Marvel or DC. Hell, start a blog.
Good day and good luck, citizens of Earth.