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Hoping For Heroes

Updated on November 27, 2012

So i just finished reading a graphic novel tie in for Heroes (what can I say, I'm behind) and I couldn't help but think...

Why are superheroes popular?

I mean, yes, they do all that cool stuff we can't, like fly and walk through walls and teleport and whatnot... but why? Why are we as individuals, as people, as a culture, drawn to these stories of alien lifeforms stranded on Earth to become our protectors? Look at popular entertainment. THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and THE DARK KNIGHT RISES tore up the box office this summer and THE AVENGERS only became the third highest top grossing film of ALL TIME! Comics are going strong... but why?

I wonder if it's because we dont have any real heroes left to root for...

I mean, when was the last time you looked at someone and thought "now there, there is a hero..."

Oh Superman, where are you now? It used to be Presidents. Presidents were heroes. Or soldiers. Or cops and firemen. Our our fathers. But as the world grows more cyncial, as scandal and war and reality take thier toll, perhaps we have to turn to the invented hero for hope. Perhaps thats why we choose to get lost in comic books and movie theaters instead of voting or going to city council meetings to make things better.

Because in the end, thats where the hope is...

IRON MAN's Tony Stark is an arrogant, self centered alcoholic. But you know what? He's honest.

BATMAN's Bruce Wayne is literally a rich kid with issues who dons a mask for therapy. But he's honest.

SPIDER-MAN's Peter Parker is a high school (or college depending on your continuity) kid haunted by a mistake he made and now tries to rectify. But he's honest.

I'm picking up on a trend. I hope I'm wrong. I'm too much of an optimist to think things have gotten this bad. But I look at todays politicians and think more of the same. Their mantra is change, their reality isn't. Day after day, things get worse instead of better. And all I am left with is innocence lost, clutching my comic book in tear stained hands, hoping for heroes...


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