FICTIONAL CHARACTERS IN MOVIES AND COMICS BELIEVED TO BE AUTISTIC
Fantasy movies and TV shows have become more appealing to the masses now more than ever. One could say that this increase in patronage is mainly fueled by the passion of kids from the older generations who grew up with these comics and fictional characters from decades ago. Most of them now have a family of their own whom they may have shared their fascination to this genre, introducing to their partner and kids the lore and plot of these movies and comics, and enthusiastically taking them to the cinema to watch the new remakes, reboots and live action versions on the big screen. The love for this genre has also evolved, with the recent installments also highlighting the villains and their perspective of the story. This somehow indicates that there is something about comics and fantasy movies that naturally draws our interest to them. They rekindle that childish side in each of us and revive that wonderful feeling of seeking great adventures, and gaining superpowers or abilities to vanquish great adversaries. People may see a reflection of their selves through these fictional characters, and their influence to each of our lives may be bigger than what one might initially think.
A good point to this argument is the fact that some of these fictional characters are also observed to exhibit attributes and features that are indicative of human disorders such as ASD. This only goes to show that the creators of these characters are also trying to establish a strong connection with the general fan base, who are in turn inspired to remain strong and positive as they cope up and deal with autism. Here are some of the popular fictional characters who are confirmed or believed to be autistic.
Blue Ranger (Power Rangers 2017 Film)
This specific version of the Blue Ranger from the Power Rangers franchise has gained huge positive acceptance from the viewers by being the first black character to appear in the film that’s openly confirmed autistic. The fictional character Billy Cranston’s personal bio profile was remade into someone on the spectrum and of a different color, emphasizing the film’s attempt to shatter existing misconceptions about autism which states that it’s a disorder that only affects the white race. Aside from a scene where Billy tells his team that he’s “on the spectrum” to explain better why he cannot simply understand the tone and sarcastic remarks of Red Ranger Jason, he also showed other specific autism features. At the beginning of the film, Billy is seen to be arranging his set of colored pencils and shows great savant skills as a techie who was able to reprogram Jason’s ankle monitor without much effort.
The theories about Mr. Fantastic being autistic was finally proven to be true in the 2012 Fantastic Four Season One comics publication rendered by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. The Marvel Universe character was seen in a specific page self-diagnosing himself through his medical knowledge as a scientist. He is seen addressing another character Alyssa Moy that he may have mild autism, and he is on the move to finding a cure for his disorder. Many followers are discussing the impact of this diagnosis on Mr. Fantastic’s life in overall. His ability could be greatly affected if ever he finds a potent cure, or it could be that his self-diagnosis was wrong in the first place and the changes might happen on his self-confidence and attitude.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Kingpin is perhaps one of the oddest villains there are in terms of personality and behavior. Kingpin does not want to make eye contact with the people he’s speaking to, he has a stiff manner of speaking, and a strong impulse to follow routines. Although many would link these traits to his childhood trauma caused by his father, a lot of theorists believe that these are simply autistic features that are manifested by Kingpin. This theory is even supported by the fact that the actor portraying the character, Vincent D’onofrio, belongs to a family with an autistic member, which explains how he can naturally portray the character with his autism-features. D’onofrio is even entertaining the possibility that he could be an autistic person himself.
Drax (Guardians of the Galaxy)
This character’s brazen yet naive nature makes him a top favorite in both the first and second installations of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Drax exhibits many characteristics indicative of autism. For instance, he finds it hard to understand figures of speech and idiomatic expressions, always taking such things literally. Aside from that, he also says everything that he wants to say, without considering the kind of atmosphere or social setting they are in. Although the director James Gunn did not confirm that Drax is indeed autistic, the fact that big films such as Guardians of the Galaxy are somehow opening the avenue for discussion about autism makes many communities appreciative.
Perhaps one of the earliest fictional characters that were able to represent the autism community, Spock is someone who’ll definitely hold a special place in the hearts of many. He is among the first movie characters to show the difficulty of being on the spectrum, such as always being misunderstood by his crew mates as unemotional when in fact he feels every bit of emotion there is to feel but just can’t find an easy outlet to show it. Spock also possesses great intellect and a sense of logic that often misses out jokes and sarcasm.
This self-labeled “high-functioning sociopath” detective may be right for some of the words on his personal brand. As what can be seen inferred from his behavior and intelligence, Sherlock Holmes is said to be on the high end of the spectrum. His partner Doctor Watson even thinks of making a proper diagnosis to Sherlock, specifically Asperger’s. Sherlock is also able to understand the feelings of other people but finds it hard to reciprocate the same.