Do all women secretly want to be damsels in distress so a knight in shining armor (or maybe a shiny cape) can swoop in and rescue them? With superheroes this hot, some of us will gladly play the role of the helpless victim!
In anticipation of this summer’s biggest blockbusters—that being The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises—we decided to take a look at the most delicious onscreen superheroes that we don’t mind seeing in tights.
Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America
Superhero identity: Steve Rogers is a soldier-wannabe who tried to enlist in the army so many times, only to be turned down by his many illnesses and poor physical shape. But what he lacks in muscle he makes up for with unbelievable love for his country—he agrees to take part in a government experiment that turns skinny little Rogers into the super-built Captain America.
Real identity: Chris Evans is the reason why women who have no interest in comics gladly accompanied their boyfriends to watch a comic book movie. In fact, Evans has already played four comic book roles: he was the Human Torch in the Fantastic Four movies, Jensen in The Losers, Lucas Lee in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and as no other than The Cap himself in Captain America: The First Avenger.
Why we love him: Before getting those big biceps, Rogers had a big heart: for his country like no other, and for his faith to only one gal, Peggy Carter, despite the many women who flung themselves at him (that includes The Tudors’ Natalie Dormer, who played a frisky blonde secretary in the film).
Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine
Superhero identity: He’s got a reputation for being the scruffy, bad-ass loner amongst the X-Men. He was orphaned at a young age (witnessing the death of his foster father and real father…whom he accidentally killed when his mutant “bone claws” came out), his only brother Victor turned out to be his arch nemesis, he undergoes a painful operation that reinforces his skeleton with the indestructible alloy adamantium, and his girlfriend betrayed him. Wolverine then joins the X-Men, where he’s regarded as one of the main members of the team…albeit his random spurts of wanting to go his own way.
Real identity: The role of Wolverine was going to be played by Dougray Scott (Ever After), but eventually went to the then-unknown Jackman. Hugh’s wife Deborra-Lee Furness, told him not to take it, but good thing he didn’t listen to her—this was the role that put Jackman on the Hollywood map. Movie goers loved his character so much, that not only did he get his own X-Men: Origins film, but there’s another Wolverine project in the works, this time going back to when he trained with a samurai warrior in Japan.
Why we love him: Bad boy with a troubling past who just wants to be loved? Sign us up—we’ll gladly adopt this pup! And with those healing/regenerative powers, he’ll never grow old!
Chris Hemsworth as Thor
Superhero identity: Thor AKA the God of Thunder, was about to be crowned king of Asgard by his father Odin—but just had to screw it up by breaking the Asgardians’ truce with the Frost Giants, the big baddies who want to conquer all nine realms (which includes Earth). To punish Thor for his childish arrogance, Odin banishes his son to Earth, specifically New Mexico, and stripped of his godly powers. When his evil brother Loki sends automaton The Destroyer to Earth, Thor saves his new human friends from the ‘bot, sacrificing himself instead—this proving himself worthy to be king. His act of selflessness restores his powers, and once again gets to wield his mighty hammer, Mjolnir.
Real identity: The 28-year old Australian almost didn’t get the role—he was initially rejected while Liam (The Hunger Games), his brother, made it on the shortlist. Thankfully, director Kenneth Branagh decided to give Chris another shot. And we’re pretty happy he did: Chris’s portrayal was spot-on: convincing as the overconfident would-be-king that we almost didn’t mind Oscar winner Natalie Portman’s horrible performance as his love interest.
Why we love him: Everyone loves a changed person, and Thor proves that the most egotistical, self-centered guy can turn into a thoughtful, selfless man (in the movies, at least.)
Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man
Superhero identity: Genius inventor and billionaire playboy Tony Stark is just so damn arrogant, he didn’t feel the need to keep his alter ago a secret. Wounded in an assault and captured by Afghan terrorists, Stark managed to create a life-saving electromagnet for his wounded heart AND a suit of armour as means of escape – all while living in a cave. He also has daddy issues, having grown up with the idea that his father’s company, weapons manufacturing company Stark Industries, was more important to him than his own son.
Real identity: Though not director Jon Favreau’s initial choice for the role, Downey proved to be the right decision, as the actor possesses a unique magic that could make Stark’s arrogant, spoiled behavior quite endearing. Favreau and Downey admitted to modeling Downey’s performance after real-life millionaire Elon Musk, one of the founders of Paypal, Zip2, Tesla Motors, Solar City, and SpaceX. In an April 2010 issue of TIME Magzine, Favreau wrote: “When I was trying to bring the character of genius billionaire Tony Stark… I had no idea how to make him seem real. Robert Downey Jr. said, ‘We need to sit down with Elon Musk.’ He was right.”
Why we love him: He’s smart, sarcastic, and throws some of the best parties in town. Plus, underneath all that wry humor and playboy behavior lies a big heart that only has eyes for his personal assistant, Pepper Potts.
Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman
Superhero identity: Bruce Wayne is a rich boy orphan who witnessed his parents’ murder and is taken in by the family butler, Alfred Pettyworth, and grows up wanting to avenge his parents’ death and right the wrongs of Gotham City. While he may not have superhuman strength, X-ray vision, or a green ring and lantern to fight crime, he does have enough money to build a super fast car, a swanky suit of armor, and about 10 million different gadgets that help him keep the streets of Gotham safe for whoever still chooses to live there (because really, if a villain crops up in your city every week robbing banks and shooting people, wouldn’t you just move?!)
Real identity: Fresh off filming The Machinist, Bale had to bulk up within six months, which is not an easy feat for someone who, prior to training, couldn’t do even one push-up a day. Bale was severely underweight, weighing in at only 130lbs. Ever the trooper, he trained hard and gained back 100 pounds in six months. He put on too much weight, and Bale had to drop down to 190lbs, right before filming began. For The Dark Knight, Bale kept his physique by training in the Keysi Fighting Method, on top of his usual Batman workout.
Why we love him: Batman proves that you don’t need to be bitten by a spider or fall into a vat of nuclear waste to become a superhero. His super powers are his self-discipline, hard work, determination, and desire for justice. Of course, having billions in the bank doesn’t hurt, either.