Fantasy fiction is unarguably the most imaginative form of literature. Over the period of time, fantasy has acquired a good position on book shelves and certainly in the hearts of readers. With development of motion pictures, those stories came alive on screen and many of them were well received by audiences. Out of many fantasies, comic book superheroes grabbed attention of many directors and movies were produced since 1920s. But superhero movies produced in recent time have enjoyed good success at the box office.
I watched Tobey Maguire’s Spiderman series and Christopher Nolan’s Batman Series and I heard about Iron Man, Superman, Thor, etc. But now-a-days superhero movies are coming like there’s fair opened for superheroes. Many unheard superheroes like Deadpool, Dr. Strange, Antman, Aquaman have already arrived and God knows how many else are coming. On top of that, movies were made about Superhero franchises like Avengers and Justice League. Many of these characters used to be feature in comic books and cartoon series. They were loved by kids but suddenly what make them so popular among adults. Why do people love superheroes?
Let’s search reasons behind this. Basically superheroes are ultimate good guys (at least guys having good intentions). With widespread violence, crime and all other bad things happening all over the world, almost everyone has come across some of such incidents. Even being a person with good intent, he or she wasn’t able to help the victims because of various societal restrictions or many possible consequences. I think in the form of superhero, one views himself or herself helping the victim without being trapped into any restrictions and worrying about any consequences. Let’s accept that not everyone is complete and everyone wants to be better than he or she actually is in particular area. In that respect, just see what Stephen Hawking, renowned English physicist said –
“If I had to choose a superhero to be, I would pick Superman. He’s everything that I am not.”
Superheroes are like committed crusaders or vigilantes in this law capped world. They act responsibly with their superpowers and show their commitment to save everyone. They are impartial. People like this sense of equality which in some cases, was denied to them because of some reasons. This really makes them put their trust into superheroes. Some of the superheroes are derived from earthly creatures like spider, bat, ant against powerful wild animals like lion or tiger. Interesting thing about this is the way it connects superhero qualities to tiny creatures. It forces us to acknowledge that whatever may be the size of an animal, it still holds robust character which can be adopted to save the world.
With the all good things which superheroes present us, one thing that really makes us think is ‘Will superheroes come to save the world?’ And even if they come, will they able to reach every victim? Those are difficult questions. But this is what reality is. Do we really need Great Power to save us? I think answer to that is hidden in book ‘The Hobbit’.
“Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay… small acts of kindness and love.”
Gandalf the Gray in The Hobbit
Saruman’s opinion represents popular belief but Gandalf’s response is wise in truest way. Instead of waiting for Great Power or a superhero to come, we have to trust ourselves. Goodness lies within us and we have to nurture it, put our faith in it.