Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Hope of a Hero

The 'S' stands for hope!

     After watching the brand new trailer for Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder’s upcoming Man of Steel, and in light of the recent tragedies both at the Boston Marathon and the plant explosion in Waco, Texas that killed 16 people, I realized just why superhero films and superheroes in general are so popular now.  We live in a post modern society of jealousy, extremism, political idealism, and never ending economic woes.  A society where it seems like the bad guys always win.

     Many would agree that we live in a 99% vs. 1% society where it seems like the bad guys always stay one step ahead and entertainment in general just provides an escape from that.  However, I believe the recent trend in superhero popularity that resulted in The Avengers becoming the 3rd highest grossing film of all time, and has both Man of Steel and Iron Man 3 poised for huge openings this summer is based on something much more than just escapism. 

     Rather, I believe superheroes portray the ideal of hope more than any politician or pro athlete can.  While a lot a super hero films and comics take place in a fictional world or society, most of the time these fictional societies face some of the same real world problems we face as both a nation and a world. Superheros represent the idea "what if someone was willing to lay down everything and put their livelyhood on the line to save a perfect stranger," and instead of fame or praise they receive either ridicule or no "thank you" at all.

     To even see this take place onscreen or on the page in our modern world seems implausible.  By implausible I don't mean superpowers can't exist; I mean even if they did, would someone be willing to use them for good? Sadly today, probably not. Would people even be appreciative of a real life super hero? Would they find them stupid or out of touch? In the selfish world we live in I venture to say a real life hero or even the concept of one would be difficult to be underststand.   The iIdea of a pure hero is a little old fashioned if you really think about it.  However in the times that we live in sometimes the world needs a little old fashion.

     So the next time you read your favorite superhero comic or watch the latest superhero blockbuster, think to yourself: "how much better off would we be if we actually had super heroes?"

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