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The Fantasy of Superheroes

Updated on June 7, 2015


We need heroes. Superhero movies have recently exploded across the silver screen and gained a surprisingly huge following. The 2000's opened with the X-Men series, followed closely by he Spiderman series. Then there was Batman nipping closely at it's heels. Then of course came Iron Man, Fantastic Four. Then came Daredevil, and a host of others.

Why do we need superheroes? Why, in this modern era, do we seek to escape into a world of fantasy heroes? The human mind desires clarity. That’s why we create a fantasy world of mythologies. The concept of mythology, means attempting to explain mankind’s origins. Mythology, however, has been distorted in our modern age.

A world without mythology would indeed be disturbing. For decades, we have found comfort, even hope, in superheroes. Without any explanation of who we are or how we got here.

Over the years, superheroes have adapted to fit into our social needs of what we need at the moment. Whether it's Iron Man, or superman, we need superheroes to handle problems we deem too difficult for mere mortals to handle.

Take Batman for instance. He's the policeman. Superman represents the one who helps people, not passing judgment, or attempting to set an agenda.

Comic books have only been around since about 1842. They seem to be larger than life and display characters having superhuman powers. Why is the fascination with immortality and superhuman ability so universal? The type of dashing characters they portray have been around since the beginning of human history. King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table at one time filled the need for the superhero’s role.

Perhaps there are those who have wished to break free of limitations imposed by our fragile human existence. At present, we are mere mortals with a physical carbon makeup, worth less than a dollar on the open market.

Super heroes resent a hero completely bereft of any personal feelings with no social redeeming value whatsoever. The superhero is a figure that has held its place in American cultural society throughout the 20th century.

Super heroes are symbols for something deeper. Action heroes deal with elements of humanity and a colorful impression of the human soul. The subject of superpowers should be addressed. If Superman did not fly and see through walls, he wouldn't be very impressive would he?

The beauty of superheroes is they are inspired and relieve our day to day stress. Is there anything to suggest there is undue pressure to actually become a superhero? This is why young children flock to the theatre. Immersed in thought, we fantasize about what we could do. Maybe it's because they give us something to believe in. Maybe we need that.

Comic books have existed since before 9/11. and even before Al Qaeda. How can we look at a burning skyscraper without thinking about what happened on 9/11? In this fantasy world, the heroes win. Although comic books have existed for years, watching The “Avengers” is a form of role-playing. We get to see, whether it be a traumatic experience or a pleasant one.


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    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I think you hit the nail on the head. I was definitely role playing through every comic book. Great read.


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