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Why Superheroes Still Matter

Updated on July 8, 2018
Christina St-Jean profile image

I am a mom of two awesome children who teach me more daily than I ever thought possible. I love writing, exercise, movies, & LGBT advocacy.

Marvel And DC Supers

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There Are Reasons I Wear Superhero Shirts And Shoes At 40-Plus Years Old!

While I am an unabashed Star Wars nut and love Star Trek as well - yes, I'm a rarity - I've recently come to re-embrace my enjoyment of superheroes.

Certainly, there are a fair number to choose from, particularly in no small part to the ongoing rotation of superhero films that are either in theaters or on Netflix lately. Whether it's any one of the Avengers titles - Black Panther and Thor: Ragnarok are recent favorites, though Avengers: Infinity War gripped me hard too - or Justice League and especially Wonder Woman, I'm all over it.

I know I am not the only one - not by a long shot. You only need to look at the money that continues to roll in for any one of these titles and realize just how many superhero fans out there. Sure, the choices of actors that are filling these roles are impressive; Chris Hemsworth will forever be associated with Thor, while Chris Evans will now always be Captain America, for instance. However, perhaps our ongoing love of superheroes lately has more to do with needing to see or believe in the power of superheroes rather than the actors and actresses who portray them.

Our 21st century world is one that has grown increasingly cynical as we watch leaders make choices that cause us to shake our heads or make us wonder to what levels of corruption or even stupidity they can further sink. We see people killing each other or doing horrible things and it's really difficult to not feel increasingly cynical about where our world is headed some days.

Then, we're re-introduced to these ultra-awesome people with unique powers.

I don't care if you've had a rough day, or you're completely fed up with the bad things you see happening in your corner of the world or even globally. Seeing the likes of these superheroes, such as Batman or Wonder Woman (a new favorite of mine, as I've said in previous blogs), working to make life better simply because it's the right thing to do is something that can truly inspire you to do better for yourself and for others if you let it.

I firmly believe that we've often allowed ourselves to stomp on our own desire to try and do great things simply because we talk ourselves out of the things we want to try and do. I think that perhaps superheroes came out all those decades ago - and now enjoy a resurgence on the silver screen - because we needed something to show us that it is possible for great things to be done.

Also, let's remember that in many ways, these superheroes are not all that different from us. Sure, they've got great power - and with great power comes great responsibility, as we all know - but at their core, regardless of the island or planet they originated from, they are as flawed and feeling as the rest of us. That's probably their greatest appeal.

Superheroes are really representations of the best versions of ourselves. However, when they falter, they also show us the importance of learning and growth from those moments. Frequently, what our heroes learn from their missteps help them become stronger or at the very least realize new strength. Wouldn't it be awesome if we learned to do the same thing and harness the power and strength that came with that?

Yes, superheroes are in vogue right now. You only need to look as far as your closest movie theater to realize the juggernaut that superhero films have become. Whether you're considering films like any one of the Avengers films, or even the less highly acclaimed Justice League, superhero films are a hot draw. Never mind the fact that these films have made well over a billion US dollars at the box office, or that you might enjoy animated films or even rom-coms; superhero flicks are more than just mindless escapism now.

With superheroes, we're seeing another facet of humanity at play. Look at the character of Tony Stark and the growth he's demonstrated in either the Iron Man or Avengers movies. He's about as human as they come. Consider the cinematic version of Wonder Woman, with her wide eyed innocence and growing realization that the world around her is not always exactly as it might seem.

Characters like these might be deemed "super," but really, these are just better versions of ourselves to perhaps - even just once - draw inspiration from.

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