There are a few characteristics that come to mind when we think of our favorite superheroes: tall, strong, fast, and brave. However, optically impaired isn’t one of the first traits to come to mind. Although it seems like a contradiction given the countless powers superheroes possess, it turns out that quite a few caped crusaders require regular trips to the eye doctor.
Superman and Spiderman, arguably two of the most popular superheroes in the world, both wear glasses. Or at least they do when they’re leading their normal lives as Clark Kent and Peter Parker, rather than saving the world. Fans have spent years trying to figure out how the citizens of Metropolis haven’t noticed that Clark Kent is Superman, since the only difference between Kent and his alter ego are the glasses he wears for his day job at the Daily Planet. Peter Parker, who works for a different newspaper, also wears his glasses on the job. Although it’s fairly certain that Parker doesn’t need his glasses after acquiring a plethora of powers from his radioactive spider bite, wearing them seems to be a habit he can’t break.
Another category of superhero that enjoys nice eyewear is the scientist. Bruce Banner, the emotionally reserved physicist who we know better as the Hulk, was likely wearing his specs when he was exposed to the deadly gamma energy that gave him the ability to morph into his gigantic green alter ego. Banner is seen wearing glasses in both the comics and the latest Avengers films, where he’s played by actor Mark Ruffalo. The demure frames greatly add to the contrast between the quiet scientist and the destructive monster. Banner undoubtedly made a few trips to the eye doctor to replace the frames he’s constantly shattering whenever he morphs into the Hulk.
Another scientist who’s almost constantly wearing spectacles is Hank McCoy, better known as Beast from X-Men. Beast has been sporting his glasses since before he underwent his progressive transformation to the fanged, furry blue mutant we know and love. As a biochemist and geneticist, teacher at the Xavier Institute, and a mutant activist, Beast always appears incredibly composed and intelligent. His frames definitely give him an edge up.
Another X-Men character with interesting eyewear is Scott Summers, better known as Cyclops. His specs aren’t there to cure nearsightedness, however; they prevent him from frying people with the powerful beams of energy he emits from his eyes. In a way, Cyclops can thank his eye doctor for giving him a normal life, or at least as normal as life can be for a mutant crime fighter. Another superhero rocking interesting eyewear is Matt Murdock, also known as Daredevil. Daredevil doesn’t wear glasses, but since being blinded by a radioactive substance, Murdock has worn them in his civilian guise. Although it sounds like a bummer, Murdock looks awesome in his glasses, and the radioactive substance made his other senses superhuman, giving him the ability to fight crime.
So the next time you’re at your eye doctor, know that you’re in good company!