The buildings at UTM have been added over the slow course of 40 years—heck, parts of the Artist’s Cottage are rumoured to be dated at 1876—and each of them has something to offer, and a different story. With that in mind, I wanted to write an article praising them, detailing their histories and their value.
Then I thought it’d be more fun to compare each building to a separate superhero. Enjoy!
The Student Centre: The Dazzler
Okay, it’s not the best building at UTM. There’s a hole in the roof outside for some reason, and there are only two foosball tables. But what the heck, it does have the pub, which is pretty fun. I wondered whether or not I should give the Student Centre a superhero identity; I mean, we don’t use it for classes or anything. But then I remembered the superhero that’s not really a superhero.
Dazzler Alison Blaire, a member of the X-Men—probably by sufferance—has the ability to turn sound into light… and that’s it. I have the feeling that her powers would make her an excellent DJ, and that’s exactly what her day job is. She’d probably be awesome at a pub night.
Even though UTM insists that the South Building’s new moniker is the “William G. Davis Building”, I’m going to suggest that we call it by its super-hero counterpart: the Thing.
For those that don’t know, the Thing—a.k.a. Benjamin Grimm—is a member of Marvel’s Fantastic Four (which Stan Lee allegedly created when he was trying to get fired). He’s about eight feet tall, covered in rocky orange skin, and has superhuman strength and reflexes. He also has several engineering degrees—go figure. So why is the Thing, essentially a gigantic chunk of well-educated rock, most like the South Building?
That was supposed to be a rhetorical question but what the heck, here goes: the South Building is the largest thing on campus (see what I did there?). Its monolithic architecture, importance to the science wings, and presence of a massive gym all hint that if Ben Grimm ever strolled into our campus, he’d be most at home there. Also, after you keep getting static-shocked by all those doors in South, you’re eventually sure to shout “It’s clobbering time!”
The CCT building and the Hazel McCallion Academic Learning Centre (I’ll just call it “the library” if that’s okay with you) are the newest completed buildings on campus, if not for much longer. They have an impressive array of computers, they host the tech-savvy classes for CCIT, and they have one of the biggest lecture halls on campus. With its focus on technology, I had to think long and hard on which superhero to pair it to.
No, I didn’t. It’s Cyborg.
Cyborg, also known as Victor Stone, is the tech-savvy member of the Teen Titans, and the reason for this is that he’s also about 50 percent mechanical. His scientist parents raised him with the intention of breeding a super-genius, and gave him his mechanical prostheses after an accident left him without most of his limbs. Besides super-strength from his mechanical augments, and a sonic cannon, Cyborg can interface with machines and computers on levels that a mere mortal can’t dream of—just like a DEM student.
Oh, right, the Kaneff Centre—I nearly forgot about it. Well, let’s see… It’s shaped sort of like a doughnut, also I had a history class there once. It seems decent, no real problems. But it’s just not noticeable, you know?
So, what superhero is a little bit underrated, a little bit in the shadows? Yes, the Green Lanterns.
A Green Lantern (it’s more a title than an actual person) is a member of the Green Lantern Corps, an assemblage of aliens tasked with preserving peace and justice throughout the galaxy. They gain their powers to use “lantern energy” by wearing magical rings. So they’re sort of like the Jedi without the cool lightsaber battles. Also, in the original mythology, their weakness was the colour yellow. (So… not as impressive as kryptonite.) The Green Lanterns are definitely strong; but when did you last see them in the news? The last time I saw any mention of them was three years ago on a Justice League rerun. And, go figure, I haven’t been inside the Kaneff Centre for three years either!
Go away, North Building. You weren’t relevant when they built you back in the Stone Age, and you aren’t relevant now. Your windows are like arrow slits from a medieval fortress, your classrooms make me feel like I’m back in high school, and no amount of dressing up with fancy new wooden benches or a new networking room is going to change my opinion of you. I dislike you, North Building, and I especially dislike that as an English student I’ve had to spend the majority of my time inside your walls. I’m going to match you with a superhero as outdated and irrelevant as you are.
That’s right, I’m pairing you up with Captain Marvel, also known as Shazam!
Shazam! is the super-powered form of Billy Baxton, a nine-year-old boy from the American Midwest.
Shazam! was produced by Fawcett Comics in 1940 to capitalize on the superhero craze that was riding on the success of more popular heroes like Superman and Batman. He’s a rip-off, an imitation of more popular heroes; in fact, his powers are all based on mythological figures. Shazam! has no real value to his readers or to the comic-book world at large. Just like the North Building.