Recurring Motifs in Calvin & Hobbes – Calvin’s Alteregos

Who is your favorite Superhero? Superman? Batman? Spiderman? He-Man? Krrish (If you are an Indian kid)? If you ask me, I’d say Stupendous Man. All other Superheroes pale in comparison. Are you wondering who Stupendous Man is? Well, he is the ‘Defender of Freedom’ and ‘Advocate of Liberty’. He saves cookies from jars, saves children from doing their homework and going to school, tries to destroy his enemies including ‘Mom Lady’, ‘Crab Teacher’, ‘Annoying Girl’ and ‘The Babysitter Girl’.

Stupendous Man

Stuependous Man is one of Calvin’s alteregos, a creation of his hyperimaginative brain. He does have a superhero outfit though that he got Mom to buy for him. Whenever he has to go on an outrageous mission, ‘mild-mannered Calvin’ wears his mask and cape and transforms himself into Stupendous Man. And then, a “crimson streak blasts up through the atmosphere”. However, he is often beaten by his enemies. Calvin himself once acknowledges that Stupendouds Man has only won ‘moral victories’.






Spaceman Spiff

When Calvin is not on a rescue mission as Stupendous Man, he is usually traveling through the farthest reaches of the universe in his spaceship as Spaceman Spiff, “interplanetary explorer extraordinaire”. He meets hostile aliens and keeps getting arrested by them, mostly because of malfunctioning equipment. However, using his extraordinary intelligence and some luck is able to escape. Needless to say the ‘aliens’ are either his parents, Miss Wormwood or Rosalyn and they bear the brunt of his ‘Death Ray Blaster’.


Tracer Bullet

Not only is Calvin a Superhero and a Space Explorer, but also a Private Detective called ‘Tracer Bullet’. If you thought Sherlock Holmes was the ultimate detective, Tracer Bullet will challenge those assumptions. This ‘Private Eye’ takes on complex cases, mostly by “pushy dames” and solves them easily. Tracer Bullet owns three guns, a .38 revolver, a .44 magnum, and a .45 handgun. Tracer Bullet always wears a hat (because Calvin was forced to wear one after Hobbes gave him a very bad haircut).



I have said this on my blog earlier and I’m saying it again; I can’t thank Bill watterson enough for creating these utterly lovable characters. Life without Calvin and his flights of fantasy would have been so dull and boring. Thank you Mr. Watterson! Thank you so much!


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