Saving the Day

I wouldn’t say that I’m a huge fan of superheroes. I became a fan of Batman when I first watched The Dark Knight back in 2009 because I wanted to watch Heath Ledger’s infamous last performance before he tragically passed away. I watched The Amazing Spider-man a few months ago and found it decent. But other than that, I had no interest in continuing my foray into the world of superheroes.

Until recently.

In the past week, I’ve watched more superhero movies than I have in all my life. Iron Man, Captain America, and the Incredible Hulk kept me company during the intense summer heat wave this week. It’s kind of interesting to me that even tho each movie is about a different superhero, they are all the same. It seems like each one starts out “normally” with some unusual quirks that stand them out (Tony Stark is the rich owner of Stark Industries, Captain America has a love of America, Incredible Hulk interested in military defenses) until something dramatic comes along that causes them to want to save human kind from the bad guy. There are two faceoffs in the movie, the first time when the good guy (the superhero) fights with the bad guy and is forced to retreat. The second time, the superhero is more prepared to battle the bad guy and wins, with the favored girl cheering in the sidelines.

Superhero movies are fun to watch, but they tend to get old for someone like me who can quickly see the patterns in any given genre if watched (or read) for way too long. While the superhero often comes across adversaties that helps build him as a character in order to overcome what needs to be defeated, watching a superhero win every time can become a little old.

Maybe this is why they’re called a “super” hero rather than just a plain old hero. Heroes win, but often times at a high cost (perhaps their death or becoming disabled in some way). Superheroes never die and while there may be deaths to those important them, they quickly overcome it, using those deaths to fuel their determination.

I’m not saying that I don’t love superheroes, because they do. They are entertaining and can inspire people to become heroes in their own right. Sometimes it’s easy to wish that superheroes lived in real life, to fight back evil. It would be wonderful to get rid of evil entirely, but a superhero reminds me of the gods in mythology: fighting evil while the helpless mortals stand by and watch, forever at the whims of someone more powerful than them. Having such people around would be detrimental to free will and choice, of the competency of everyday people.

What do you think? Would superheroes help or hinder people if they were here in real life?

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