Statistics is the science of proving that everyone you meet is a either a pervert, a criminal, or has a rare, communicable disease. Usually this is done at the behest of a local news program, who uses the numbers to scare old people. Which in turn causes more old people to die, thus providing statisticians with more data. And that, my friends, is the circle of life.
Regardless, statistics tell us that, out of any group of 100 people, 99 of them will suffer some horrible misfortune during their life, and the 100th still won’t win the lottery. Which is why it’s so hard to believe in the so-called “Superman Curse.” Sure, Superman creators Jerry “Joe” Shuster and Jerry “Joe” Siegel died penniless, begging on the streets and selling their bodies to Japanese businessmen in exchange for a warm place to sleep and a half-empty Snapple, but that’s more an indication of the predatory business practices of the 1930s comic book industry than it is some sort of supernatural curse against people connected to the character. Name me a legendary comic creator who didn’t wind up broke, disillusioned, and trading his body to perverse Asian millionaires for cash and/or soft drinks. Apart from George Papp (who had a taste for Austrians and Mr. Pibb), it can’t be done.
Which isn’t to say that there aren’t some comic book movies that are, indeed, stricken by widespread afflictions that some say border on the paranormal. For instance:
BATMAN: Actors playing this character have all later been diagnosed with “tennis elbow.” (See photo.) Also, actresses appearing as love interests for Bruce Wayne have all been revealed to be completely and utterly insane.
SPIDER-MAN: At least three actors associated with the character are chronically unable to match their socks. In addition, many of the silver screen’s Spider-Men look really stoned, even when they’re not.
THOR: Two of the men who have portrayed this character on screen have later gone on to be Cardinals in the Catholic Church, but have always been passed over for Pope.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: Every single performer in these films has had a sex change operation.
SWAMP THING: My friend tells me that he knew this guy who worked on SWAMP THING 2: EVEN SWAMPIER who swears that there’s one shot in the movie where you can totally see Dick Durock’s taint. More a curse for the viewers than the cast, if you ask me.
THE FANTASTIC FOUR: Gerald Mohr, who originated the part of Reed “Mr. Fantastic” Richards on the 1967 cartoon, suffered from crippling bacharachornithophobia, or a fear of birds owned by singer-songwriters. In the 1990s, Cam Clarke, who portrayed the same character, had the exact opposite condition, bacharachornithophilia, or an unusual sexual attraction to birds owned by singer-songwriters.
THE CROW: Nothing bad has ever happened to anyone from these movies, ever.
GHOST RIDER: Actors associated with this role have a history of appearing in awful movies about motorcyclists with flaming heads.
BLADE: Spooky but true: 37 crew members became ill on the set, first getting a high fever and then nausea, followed by their internal organs turning into a fine paste. However, this was later discovered not to be a curse, but botulism poisoning.
SPAWN: Everyone associated with this film has at one time or another been described as “a total dink.”
CONSTANTINE: Strange things were constantly being reported around this film’s set. Trained performers, called “actors,” would show up each day, having learned pre-rehearsed sections of written conversations, or “dialogue,” which they would enact in front of “cameras” loaded with “film” that would record the entire thing. Later, these “scenes” were taken to a lab, processed, and then carefully thrown away, replaced by total, unfiltered crap.
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