Is Superman Real? Do we still need Superman?

Superman fan boys, I want to hear your opinions… because here’s mine.

Nordling, over at Ain’t It Cool News, a movie review and news site, has written a very touching post about the nature of hero worship and why Superman now serves that sole purpose in the Hollywood machine. Nordling’s metaphorical motif is that “Superman is real.” In more literal translation, Superman represents hope in a world that could be cynical and fruitless.

He writes that he was deeply moved by the latest trailer for the upcoming release of “Man of Steel”, yet another Superman incarnation in motion pictures. And even I’ll admit, I’m just as conditioned to have a sentimental response from it.

Now, to get to my opinion on the matter. Do we need a Superman? And I’m mainly speaking as an American, because this is where this fictional idol was born. My short answer is: for now, yes. But in the big picture, and in the long run, even the greatest of superheroes will disappear. It is the natural course of things.

No one tells the story of Gilgamesh anymore. Not even Jesus, even though he still has a strong fanbase. And even the very recent (relatively speaking) Robin Hood seems antiquated in comparison. So American favorites Batman and Superman are really popular right now because they exist in the modern zeitgeist, which should be obvious and a redundant statement. And if for some reason, if Superman could really live that long, he’d evolve along with America. And I wouldn’t be surprised if he started wearing armor and toting guns, drove in a Ford truck looking space ship, and what not. Such is the nature of hero worship, aka propaganda.

Heroes come and go. So we don’t necessarily need Superman. Heroes come in all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, etc. It’s just that when they do surface, will the people need him… or her? The hero has true staying power because he belongs there, as the people’s champion, and deserves the hero worship. And hopefully because of genuine need and never because of something insidious or staged.

Heroes remind us of who we really are, and hopefully it’s the good parts of us.

We can’t live in a fantasy land. If you really lived in Metropolis, it would be horrible from the constant invasions and battles in the street. So I kinda find it hard to say that Superman “needs” to be real.

Real heroes are all around us. And when they’ve passed on, then it’s up to you to take their place. If there are no heroes, you really have to become one. When that happens, what makes you strong? Find that, and you will never need a Superman. And maybe one day, someone will want to be you for Halloween.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.