Dear Auntie Ora

When I was growing up, I read a lot of comic books. I've always been amazed by the large number of superheros that seem to reside in New York City, like Spiderman, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, etc. You never hear about the daring efforts of superheros in St. Louis or Boise. Does the Big Apple offer these individuals some kind of tax incentive or is it just that they get a really good deals at the local Supermarkets?


It has more to do with market forces. If you're going to be a successful superhero, you have to be where the supervillains are. It's hardly worthwhile getting into your skin-tight Lycra leggings and adamantium jockstrap every morning if all you're going to be doing all day is rescuing kittens from trees, is it now? And why bother keeping your true identity a secret? What's the worst that can happen if everyone knows that you, meek and humble bank clerk Throbbly Grooble, are really the alter ego of Treed-Kitten Man? They ring you up in the middle of the night to ask could you come round straight away because Tibbles has got stuck up the monkey puzzle tree again?

Anyway, it just so happens that nearly all the supervillains are to be found in New York. Why? Because they're mostly foreign, aren't they? Like that nice Victor Von Doom, and Magneto, and that Red Skull fellow, and - what was the man's name again? - Otto somebody.

Cass! Cassie! Are you there? What was Doctor Octopus's last name?

"I don't know! Why ask me? It's Pyth that reads all the comic books!"

Yes I know, dear, but Pythia's on the island of Kos at the moment tracking down Herodotus, so I can't very well ask her, can I? I just need another example of a supervillain who's foreign.

"There's that guy from the X-Men film. He was Danish or something."

I've already got Magneto.

"Oh, and then there's what's-his-name - Saddam Hussain!"

Thank you, dear. You've been a huge help, as always. Perhaps you should return to your magazine now.

"It's fab! They've got a 28-page photo feature on Prince William this week. He is just *so* dishy!"

Right... So, dear customer, we've got Doctor Doom, Magneto, the Red Skull and, er, the fiendish Prince William of England. And they're all foreign, right? So where do foreign tourists go when they visit the USA? Not St. Louis or Boise, that's for sure! That's right, they go to the Big Apple. So, as a superhero, that's where you've got to be if you want to be where the action is.

After New York, supervillains would normally go on to visit Walt Disney World in Florida, but some do-gooder has usually beaten the stuffings out of them before they get that far.