Boom, then crash. Shattering of glass. You are ok, but the building above you is losing support. As the building collapses, your life flashes before your eyes. You see your family, friends, your entire past in fractions of a second. But then you know the building stopped as if it was being held up. You look up at the building to see a flying person holding the building up. You focus your eyesight to see that it is Superman preventing the building from falling and saving everyone’s lives. Now, this may be just a classic superhero tale, but there may be more to these characters than what they are portrayed. Superhero movies have this power to captivate people in many ways and getting their attention. But why are people so interested in superheroes such as Superman, Batman, Ironman, etc.? Many people believe that superheroes are famous because they represent a figure that one could look up to a higher power and moral guidance.
Superheroes are famous because they can be seen as a higher power one can look for in a time of need. For example, during the Great Depression, people wanted to get away from the depressing time that people were living in which gave rise to comic books being released everywhere. Comic books played a significant role in the Great Depression because they were used “as a form of escape” from their lives (The History Rat). This is important because during the Great Depression when people read comic books, they enjoyed watching godly figures such as Superman, beat down on the corrupted people to benefit the good of the people. Even in times of war, comic books were there for people to escape or also to spread propaganda. During World War 2, propaganda was released everywhere in the nation to enforce the idea of war into peoples minds, including children.Superheroes show up supporting the idea of beating the enemies in WWII such as The Shield, Batman, The Submariner, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, and Captain America.
Superheroes also serve as moral guidance for many people during war times and in everyday life. For example, some comic books featured people’s favorite superheroes fighting it out against Nazis. Captain America was a significant role in this propaganda. He can be seen in older comics gruesomely killing the antagonists and seen playing and fighting the war by the “rules” while the villains cheated. Although sometimes violent, they still show the “good guys” fighting the “bad guys” and teaching people what is right and what is wrong. Batman is a significant influence on this concept because of how became a superhero because how a mugger killed his parents. He now fights villains from terrorizing Gotham City in the name of justice.
Attributes like the ones that are displayed in the superheroes of the past can be seen in the modern versions of those same heroes. People may see heroes in movies fighting against terrorists who can be related to the current struggle on the War on Terror that the world is facing. For example, when Al Qaeda attacked the U.S. in the 9/11 attacks, the comics released issues of superheroes, such as Spiderman, helping clean up debris and aid survivors from the World Trade Center. It brought unity and “prompted comic books to take a more global view” of the War on Terror (Alex Dean). This is important because it makes people realize that terrorism isn’t just in one area, it affects the whole world in some way, and that is a significant reason why superheroes are so famous because they are a medium to unify people in a way that other mediums cannot. Some movies even bring up the conflict of world-ending scenarios which frighten people but give them hope as a compelling character can save them from danger.
As you can see, many superheroes can are seen as godly figures and are used as a power to look up to as form guidance, a character to use as a means of escape, or even as use of propaganda to manipulate children. However they are used, they have become famous because of these and are only increasing in popularity. People should take advantage of this opportunity to use this medium of to help problems that we have today.
Article by Adrian Ordanza & Video by Nickolas Biaggi
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