It all started at the turn of the century. In 2000's X-Men, Wolverine learned that romance gets spicier once you've got superpowers. Three years later in Spider-Man, Peter Parker found out that along with the other powers he'd gained after a radioactive spider-bite, he suddenly had the capacity to woo Mary Jane Watson. And from there on out, superheroes were the heroes of our most compelling romantic comedies and dramas, Wolverine the bad-boy with a sensitive side, Hellboy the misunderstood outsider, Batman the guy who loves the girl and leaves her, Iron Man our Rhett Butler. And this summer, we came full circle. In Kick-Ass and Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, regular guys don't have a chance of making it in love, or in life, unless they get a jolt of something extra.
Kick Ass's Dave Lizewski is hopeless with girls until he invents a secret identity and acquires superpowers in the form of a father-daughter pair who follow him around cleaning up after the disastrous situations he gets himself into. Suddenly, the hottest girl in school wants him to get rid of her large, African-American, criminally involved abusive boyfriend, and to have sex with Dave in back alleys.
Scott Pilgrim's path involves fewer Dumpster-enabled hookups, but the principle is the same. In order to win the girl of his dreams, one Ramona Flowers, Scott has to call on capacities he didn't know he had previously, whether it's to pull magical swords from his own chest, to create giant beasts through the power of rock and roll, or to give girls lethally spectacular orgasms via back-of-the-knee tickles.