Marvel Superheroes Get Old Just Like the Rest of Us

In another episode of “I can’t believe people do this kind of research”, researchers in Australia concluded that, in the real world, Marvel superheroes are more prone to dementia, life-changing physical injuries, and disability because of their exposure to loud noises, air pollution, and head injuries.

Among the findings:

  • The Incredible Hulk’s heart problems, excess weight, and near-constant anger mean he is at risk for a range of chronic diseases.
  • Black Widow’s traumatic childhood means she is more likely to become physically and mentally ill later in life.
  • Spiderman, who is strong, flexible, and agile, should be less likely to fall when he is old. However, his nightly crime-fighting means he is unlikely to be getting the eight to ten hours sleep experts recommend for teenagers — making him more prone to mental health problems, obesity, and unintentional injuries.

But it’s not all doom and gloom for these superheroes. The study found that they get regular exercise which is good for many aspects of health, and live in places that are socially cohesive and connected, which reduces their risk of dementia.

Superheroes are also positive, optimistic, resilient, and have a sense of purpose, all of which have a scientific link to healthy aging. With the exception of Thor and Iron Man, these characters do not drink heavily or smoke, which helps them live longer as well.

Additionally, both Black Panther and Iron Man are very rich and clever, which reduces their risk of dementia. Black Panther is also vegetarian, which helps keep wrinkles at bay.

The researchers concluded that the speed at which superheroes age is dependent upon their personal characteristics — just as it is for us mere mortals (with the exception of Thor, who has lived for several millennia).

So I guess being a superhero isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

It sounds like they end up like the rest of us, just sitting around watching reruns of The King of Queens and reliving their glory days (by the way, Lou Ferrigno, who played the Incredible Hulk, was a regular character on The King of Queens as himself).

*image from Comic Basics

68 thoughts on “Marvel Superheroes Get Old Just Like the Rest of Us

    1. it was quite the team:

      Sarah T Fox, PhD candidate, Natasha Reid, research fellow, Ida Tornvall, PhD candidate and research technician, Shavini Weerasekera, geriatric medicine registrar, Emily Gordon, research fellow, Ruth E Hubbard, masonic chair of geriatric medicine

      I wonder if this will be be someone’s dissertation…

      Like

      1. Oh, okay. I’m not a big comics fan, so I don’t know who’s DC and who’s Marvel. What we need is a superhero who can keep all of that stuff straight. I would call him, “Comic Man.”

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Puts everything into perspective, I am content to not be a Superhero. 🙂 Though Superhero can be described in many ways! When my kids were little I was a superhero to them when I bought them ice cream.. LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The “study” seems to be an exercise in teaching regular humans how to live healthy lives by showing that even superheroes could be affected by bad choices. Superheroes are fiction so why not use a fictional study of superhero health to teach us how to live longer and healthier. It got my attention.😄

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Superblogger speed reads and comments on posts using his right hand to scroll through the computer screens while simultaneously posting with his left hand on the cell phone. He acquires early onset blindness, crippling carpal tunnel, and dies from lack of sleep.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Inadequate research, shocking to have omitted another dependent variable ……… susceptibility to dying from Covid …… like other forms of research of the unmentionable kind😂😂👍. Good post Jim 👍

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I looked up the link and I’m non the wiser what the point/value of that research is. Superhero response to Covid is an interesting point. Some of our politicians may actually be superheroes with special immunity powers. Also I wonder if Batman also has immunity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it was just a clever way to get people to think about the impact of their lifestyle choices as they age.

      Since Batman is not part of the Marvel universe, no conclusions can be drawn on whether the results of this study apply to him.

      and it does seem like some politicians think they have some immunity powers…

      🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I enjoyed Ferrigno’s cameos on King of Queens. Did you know his son acts, too?

    I’ll never be a superhero, so I guess I don’t have to worry about the toll it takes on me. But it’s kind of fun to picture them in Avengers Tower or at the Hall of Justice, all in the twilight of their lives, talking about the good old days. (Maybe that’s how the idea for the Watchmen movie started.)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So this research must be relatable to a target market of wannabe superheroes. Perhaps 30 to 40 year olds. Definitely not the 60 plus group since many of us have become cynics. (As a side bar, I just asked my husband how to spell cynic and his reply was spinach. I guess Siri is the superhero here.)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My daughter once said to me when I was dressed up in tight jeans plus the obligatory glittery boob tube ready for a night at the disco that I looked like “Wonder Woman”…Bless her those were the days…sigh…as for all these new Marvels I don’t know one from the other…I wonder how Superman and Wonder Woman have aged?

    Liked by 1 person

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