Superheroes

10 Jul

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We are all suckers for a good superhero.

Everybody has their favorite:

  • Batgirl
  • Superman
  • Thor
  • Wonder Woman
  • Spiderman
  • Elastigirl

Okay, the last one is not a bona fide superhero. But I still like her special power, plus her hairdo.

Back to the topic:

Why is it that we are in awe of superheroes and their superpowers?

While watching Thor with my son over the weekend, I was thinking about this question. Besides the obvious reasons for why I enjoy Thor, there are more respectable and legitimate reasons to explain superhero worship, based upon my less than extensive research:

  • They have back-story. Superheroes tend to acquire their superpowers as a result of overcoming trials and tribulations. By enduring adversity, they rise above and conquer. They’ve worked hard to be super, and we like them more because we’ve seen them be vulnerable.
  • Superheroes have awesome costumes. The costume-maker in The Incredibles is a classic character that makes the costumes for her superhero cast come alive. Each costume is fitted specifically to the superhero’s needs, including being fire-retardant when necessary. Note to Wonder Woman: I urge you to secure Edna’s services. She could fashion a costume that would not prevent you from breathing.
  • The characters can do everything we imagine being able to master in our dreams. Flying, catching things on fire, freezing stuff, disappearing, shooting poison arrows with our eyes, bending metal, seeing through walls, etc. Superheroes mean serious business, and they have the powers to back up their promises. This is a superhero-worthy list of superpowers that goes into depth on all of the possibilities, by category. Who doesn’t want to have that level of bad-a$$-ness?
  • Superheroes save people’s lives. An extension of the above noted superpowers, the life-saving ability cannot be overrated. Superheroes have doctor complex out the yin-yang. Saving lives makes your own more valuable. This is an automatic confidence-booster, and I encourage anyone to do it whenever possible. Learn CPR. Who knows when it might come in handy?
  • They stand out in a crowd. Superheroes often wear garish colors that go well beyond the worst combinations of sports jersey hues. They look like bugs, bats, the American flag, or mythical figures on steroids. But they rock it. Who doesn’t want to pump up the volume like this every once in a while? It certainly makes the day more interesting.
  • Superheroes are real people in disguise. I personally think this is the best reason. Putting on a mask throws everyone off. What an easy way to become something you are not.

Every once in a while, we get to approach superhero-dom in our daily lives, in the eyes of our kids or our co-workers. And we get to watch others outperform normal expectations and impress us beyond belief. Then we go back to being normal.

It’s this chance to be “super” every once in a while that makes life worth living, but being “normal” on most days is such an important part of the appeal. Striving, never giving up, and believing we can be our best…this is the power of the “real-life” superhero.

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