By: D. Anthony Thomas

All photos courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Superheroes dominate the movie theater box office and are becoming increasingly popular on small screens.  Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 bowled over its competition last weekend, and early tracking suggests that Guardians have another weekend victory (or two) in their future.   Similarly, social media has been on fire as nuggets of information continue to leak about Netflix’s upcoming streaming blockbuster The Defenders.  Do gooders that sport capes, masks, and face paint are everywhere.

However, despite the huge media presence of superheroes, most casual viewers are still unaware of the diverse assortment of characters that are out there.  True, almost all of these heroes basically want to stop the bad guys (and girls).   Yet, not all of them use jumpkicks and eyebeams against the forces of evil.

Mantis

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Mantis just debuted on the big screen in the latest Guardians of the Galaxy film, but this Marvel hero actually dates all the way back to Avengers comics of the 1970s.  As an empath, Mantis can sense, feel, and even manipulate the emotions of others.  She can temporarily take away an ally’s emotional trauma; giving him or her the clarity needed for the task a hand.   She can also paralyze an enemy with uncontrollable fear.   It’s also worth noting that Mantis’ abilities make her the ultimate sleep aid.  There’s no tossing, turning, or nightmares on her watch. Want a hero that can help you get a solid nine hours of beauty rest, and help you get over past hurts and inner turmoil?  Mantis is your girl!

Rescue   

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We all remember Gwyneth Paltrow’s character, Virginia “Pepper” Potts, from the Iron Man series.  However, did you know that in the comic books, Pepper has her own armor and occasionally does the hero thing?  As Rescue, Pepper likes to look out for the rest of us while the more well-known supers recklessly throw bad guys through buildings.  When the ongoing war between good and evil turns your city into a disaster zone, it’s nice to know that there’s a hero that’s exclusively concerned with escorting civilians to safety and providing emergency medical care.  Got a concussion and need help getting out of some rubble?  Pepper to the rescue!

Iron Fist

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It’s easy to forget that the Marvel Universe’s best martial artist is also a master of mindfulness.  After all, it’s the Iron Fist’s potential as an unstoppable weapon that sells funny books.  With that said, those glowing hands are also for healing.   That’s right, The immortal Iron Fist is basically a Qi Gong/Reiki master on the low.  In addition, both comic book Danny Rand and Finn Jones’ portrayal on Netflix also emphasize the importance of meditation and focus for one’s overall well-being.  Sure, Iron Fist can punch through walls, but he can also help you achieve clarity of mind.

Dagger

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Mainstream audiences will get a better sense of who this teenage superhero is in 2018, when she debuts on the Freeform Network with her partner Cloak on the eponymously titled Cloak & Dagger.  Marvel die-hards however know Dagger as a light-manipulating hero that can remove poison and other toxic substances from the body.  In other words, Dagger can literally give you a super cleanse by bathing you in light.  Her powers are so potent, she can even cure drug addiction!

 

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