After watching Spider-Man 3 last weekend, Morgen and I were discussing how Peter Parker is an introvert. And it occurred to me that this is true of most superheroes’ secret identities. In fact, that seems to be almost mandatory—more than glasses or an unfashionable haircut, an introverted demeanor can effectively deflect unwanted attention and help to disguise the superhero’s super nature. So here’s my list of the top five superheroes who, in my estimation, are introverts—at least until they slip on the old mask or cape, and sometimes afterwards too. (A disclaimer: I’m not a comic book guy, so my opinions were formed based on TV and film portrayals.)
- Batman: Not only is Bruce Wayne somewhat of an introvert, but Batman himself is arguably the most introverted superhero of all time. Unlike some, he stays out of the spotlight as much as possible, and is quick to return to the seclusion of the Bat Cave.
- The Hulk: Bruce Banner (especially as played by Bill Bixby in the 1970s TV series) is as quiet and reflective as any stereotypical scientist. And the Hulk? It’s just not easy being green.
- Superman: Two words: mild-mannered. No, wait…three words: Fortress of Solitude. Yep, Clark Kent is a solid introvert, and even Superman gets away from it all to recharge.
- Spider-Man: Although Peter Parker’s personality has undergone numerous changes, he always seems to like spending time alone, and obviously puts a lot of his energy into mental (as well as physical) gymnastics.
- Jean Gray: My favorite X-person, and not just because she’s hot and can levitate things. On second thought…no, that’s exactly why. But also: there’s clearly a lot more going on inside her head than she lets on outwardly.