Monday, June 21, 2010

Why do I like superheroes?

Why do I like superheroes? It what about them moves me to enjoy reading about them, or in the case of games, playing and writing about them?

It's not an easy thing to narrow down. I guess at heart its the simplicity of a person who properly motivated can go forth and punch evil in the face. Sure its not always that simple. Complexity adds spice and flavor. Yet at its heart, its this "The desire and will to go out and make a difference, in the world."

We have real heroes too--though we forget them I think because they lack the capes, cowls, and other costume accouterments. Some of them are police officers, some are emergency workers, others teachers, lawyers, and just plain folks. They choose to make a difference in the world, they choose to step forward, especially when it isn't easy.

Now no one of any job or profession is guaranteed to be a hero. Many are in the profession but abuse it, others simply don't go beyond the absolute minimum they must do like any day to day job. It is grueling, terrible work, they face. No matter which profession we speak of in the above lists. Yet heroes are not the same as superheroes, and of course masked crimefighters are a relative but not exactly the same.

Masked Crimefighters began farther back--Scarlet Pimpernel, Zorro, and the Reverend Dr. Christopher Syn, the Scarecrow of Romney Marsh. They're heroes in their own way, they fight crime, they do so with skills and abilities a real world person can learn. Maybe they're better at them because they're protected by the fiction they dwell in of course. Yet at the core they are heroes, not superheroes. One could argue Batman is in this vein, but its questionable if he doesn't push narrative protection into the realm of even that being a superpower.


Superheroes are a bit more recent, or eons older depending on where you put culture heroes. Yet superheroes have created an existence all their own in popular media. Costumes, cowls, and all.

Yet when you get down to it--the desire to make a difference, and the will to go out and implement it, is why I like superheroes and their kindred spirits.

Why do you like superheroes?

3 comments:

clash bowley said...

Hmmmm - maybe because that mask makes it possible than anyone could be that hero.

-clash

Rev. Lazaro said...

I love super heroes because I think deep down in many of us, we wish we had the power to single-handedly (or with the help of a few friends) make the world a better place.

Life spins out of control for all of us too easily....how nice it would be if suddenly we discovered a hidden potential to allow us to make everything right.

Silverlion Studios said...

Nicely said Rev!