On the screen this summer, everyone is a superhero. Just take a look at the nobodies who end up all-powerful and in costumes in Green Lantern (June 17) and Captain America (July 22). The women join in, too, like Harry's stalwart sidekick, Hermione, in Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows, Part 2 (July 15). And if you want to include ruthless opportunism as a superheroic trait, then Cameron Diaz in the title role of Bad Teacher (June 24) would have to qualify, too.
But as the latter example suggests, such heroism can come at a price. Even when the goal is justice, the single-minded pursuit and wielding of power can push one over to the dark side. Not just in the movies, but in real life: just look at Charlie Sheen, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and, of course, the original Conan the Barbarian, Arnold Schwarzenegger. This summer, could the superhero's mask conceal something unsavory — like the face of the beast unleashed in Rise of the Planet of the Apes?
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