The war between Marvel and DC Entertainment has certainly upped the ante when it comes to superhero movies and we will be flooded with new takes on classic comic book stories in the next few years. Not only that, we also have the same sort of competition in television, with series such as The Flash, Gotham, and Arrow, which yield record setting viewing every week.
So this begs to ask the question. Why are superheroes so popular with movie goers and TV audiences?
It’s simple really, we all want to think that in our deeply troubled world there is someone out there watching out for us. If you believe in a god, any god, maybe that’s your superhero. There to protect you from evil and the one person that will never fail you and will be there for you, no matter what.
Not that many superhero fans don’t believe in a god, but imagining a person who has superpowers, and can intervene, is comforting. All these do gooders have a purpose, to help those who are helpless. To save them from harm. To rescue them from danger.
What is cooler than a red caped man of steel flying to rescue a damsel in distress? Maybe a dark knight fighting crime in the shadows of the night or a Greek god who slams the bad guys with a big hammer.
Superheroes come in all shapes, sizes and colors, there is something for everyone. If you’re a girl, you may daydream about Superman, because he is handsome and strong and will come to your aid if you but scream for help. Or you may prefer Thor and his hammer, especially if either one looks anything like Henry Cavill or Chris Hemsworth, who play them in the movie versions.
The guys may like Batman – Ben Affeck being the latest actor cast to play him — because he is bad ass and has the Batmobile, or Iron Man – played by Robert Downey Jr. in film — with his red armored, super-cool gear. They may also like to imagine a female superhero, like Wonder Woman and Black Widow, for the obvious reasons. However, female superheroes also appeal to women, because of their strength in character and principles and the fact that there are very few of them and of course the fact that they can take on any man.
Superheroes can also inspire patriotism, such as Captain America – played by Chris Evans in the movie –were created during incredible amount of turmoil stemming from World War II and he became an icon of pop culture when he appeared in the comic book kicking Hitler in the face. Not surprisingly, the issue sold thousands of copies.
To imagine that a person that lives among us is capable of transforming themselves by any means and rushing to be there for someone in need is comforting. There are too many bad things going on in the world right now, some scarier than others.
What would you do if you suddenly discovered that your neighbor, your friend, or a complete stranger had super human powers? It would make everyone feel good that one individual, no matter where they came from can fight the bad guys, whoever they are.
We treat athletes and celebrities like superheroes because they are the closest thing to the “perfect” human being. But they often disappoint us and show that they are only human and have flaws like everyone else does. The thought of athletes, especially, being a fine tuned machine that can do it all is exciting and we follow their every move.
But in this day of ISIS and Ebola, a superhero such as those who come to life thanks to Hollywood studios, would be a welcome solution to problems that seem to be unsolvable at this point in time. A superhero would make the world a safer place, when humans can’t or won’t.
Thanks to the war between Marvel and DC Comics superheroes are more relevant than ever and in the next six-years or so, fans will see their favorite comic book characters come to life in new movie productions. Superhero fans, rejoice!
Let us know who your favorite superhero is and why?
[Image via Warner Bros.]