From Green Lantern's mouth to Kid Flash's ear: super-hero advice

Recently I came across a 20+year-old Marvel Team-Up–or maybe Marvel Two-in-One. Whichever one starred Spider-man rather than the thing. Anyway, it was the first appearance of Arcade, and Spider-man was trapped in Murderworld (an amusement park for assassins. Unable to find his way out because of the multiple illusions and death-traps, Mr. Parker decides to just start smashing equipment till the whole thing stops down. This decision leads to the following gem of monologue:

Then and now, this line makes me chuckle; I can easily imagine an untold FF-Spider-man team in which Ben Grimm offers this gem of super-heroic wisdom to the younger heroes. Thinking of it, I wonder what other bits of advice older heroes give newbies?

Here’s some possibilities:

Screw the mask, kid. The best way to keep a secret identity is to pretend you don’t have one. People don’t look for things that don’t exist.

You can’t trust anybody with super-powers or magic technology. Always be prepared with ridiculously complicated, borderline sadistic plans to take down your fellow heroes. Just wing it with your actual enemies.

Iron Man
Keep your receipts, and make sure you have a good accountant. You can deduct all your gadget and gear expenses if you have proper records.

Booster Gold
Do not annoy Wonder Woman. I know she’s got a a world-class ass and a rack only someone with super-strength could support, but peeking at her in the shower is NOT WORTH IT. Let me say it again–do NOT ANNOY WONDER WOMAN.

Anybody else?

Flash (Justice League version)
If you’ve got it, flaunt it.

The Hulk
Everything can be resolved if you hit it hard enough.

When you pick a super-hero name, make sure it’s something that you won’t feel stupid using twenty years later.


Just because a bad guy doesn’t have clearly defined powers or a flashy costume doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep him from escaping.

Mr. Fantastic

When engaging in scientific research, you should always have your best friend, your girlfriend and her kid brother accompany you, especially when space travel is involved.


Keep a written record of your personal history and vital information; you never know when the government will implant false memories (and a rare, indestructible metal.)

Blue Beetle (Ted Kord)
Always, always bring back-up.

No good ever came from reading.

Choose the unscented soap and shampoo.

Wonder Woman
Seriously, you may look hot now, but when you have that villain that’s trying to melt the polar ice caps, you’re going to freeze your little satin ass off. Go with the pants, honey.

Superman, Wonder Woman, Kyle Rayner, Hal Jordan, Batman, Ollie Queen, J’onn J’onnz:

Dying is a real bummer. Avoid it if at all possible. If you get a chance to choose, do it while arranging for a way to come back.


There’s a fine, fine line between ‘careful’ and ‘paranoid’. If your friends say you’ve crossed that line, think about it. If it’s because you planned how best to kill them, they’re probably right.

Superman, Wonder Woman, Kyle Rayner, Wally West, Plasticman, Aquaman, J’onn J’onnz:

If your friend plots how to kill you, be very careful how you approach him to tell him he’s gotten paranoid.

Guy Gardner:

Never give Batman an opening.

Pyro (X-movies)
Stay in school. You never know what you might learn.

Laughter is good for the soul.

Ghost Rider
Never touch another man’s ride.

Phantom Stranger
Don’t piss off The Spectre.

Everybody, to every Robin:

Really, what are you thinking? Have you seen the outfit he wants you to wear? Whatever you do, don’t let him touch you.

Batman (and co.), to Arkham Asylum:

Y’know, guys, there are nifty little inventions now called padlocks. And security systems. And infared cameras. And… oh, you get the picture? Then use them!


Don’t trust God. Ever. At any point.
Emma Frost**:

The best plastic surgeons in the world are always on speed-dial.


Don’t ever have a girlfriend. They just get in trouble all the time and you have to drop everything and save them. Also, if your girlfriend doesn’t like your alter-ego, that’s a warning sign that she’s shallow.

Cosmic Boy:

Don’t let them bully you into wearing anything pink.

The Atom:

Size does NOT matter, k? K.

Captain America

Forget about the movies, kid. Wouldn’t you rather be a respectable COMIC BOOK hero or the guy whose movie suck more than a black hole?

J’onn J’onzz: Think NICE thoughts.

Dr. Fate: Get out more.

Captain Marvel and Namorita (Marvel): Don’t just attack someone named Nitro head on, ya dope.

Namor: Wear socks. I don’t care if you look silly, the alternative is to make everyone snicker at you.

Wonder Man: Robots suck.

Kitty Pryde: That said, you can always change names every few years, or go back to using your real name.

Jean Grey: I’d agree with that.

Ororo: Me too. Helps if you’re a female mutant.

Batman. You know that Jim Croce song, Don’t Mess With Jim? You know that line, Don’t tug on Superman’s cape? Here’s some advice: ignore that song. It’s Superman. What’s the goody-goody Boy Scout going to you if you do tug his cape – use moderately harsh language? There’s one superhero who’s cape you don’t tug. I’ll give you a hint. His first name is “The.” Everyone’s scared of him. He’s always pissed. He’s standing right here. He’s talking to YOU and he’s wearing the cape right now. Do we understand each other? Good. Smart boy. Alfred, give the smart boy a cookie.

The Black Canary: It’s the costume, kid. A distracted opponent is a vulnerable opponent.

Not a superhero, but I can’t resist this quote:

Power Girl: Sing it, sister!

Hawkman: It doesn’t matter where you’re from.

Mr. Incredible: If the villain starts monologuing, do not stand there gawping. Hit him.

Batman: Got a pyschopathic recidivist murderous supervillain who has escaped hundreds of times from the best secuirty that the richest country in the world can offer and has been convicted of crimes that warrant his death a thousand time over? Well don’t kill him, 'cos that would make you eeeeevil.

Wolverine: Whatever you do, if your head itches, DO NOT SCRATCH IT!!

In some pre-Crisis issues of Action Comics, Air Wave III (teen-aged son of the original) appears in backup stories (alternating and sometimes in combination with Atom and Aquaman). The character acted constantly on advice he’d received from Green Lantern (his cousin), Green Arrow and Black Canary about how to preserve his secret identity and whatnot.