Why Not Superheroes…

There have been many moments in my life that have inspired me…and I have loved them all.

 

I believe that Inspiration can, and has and will again, save the world.

 

Something that inspired me recently, something that affirmed me in this feeling, came when I reread Grant Morrison’s book Supergods.

First off, I love the FULL title of this book, it speaks to my heart:

 

Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and A Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human

 

In this work, Morrison opens by discussing the possibility of why comic books should matter, by starting with why they mattered to him.

He states, when referring to the fear he had growing up of nuclear war and “the bomb,” he notes that:

 

“Before it was a Bomb, the Bomb was an Idea.

 

Superman, however, was a Faster, Stronger, Better Idea.

 

It’s not that I needed Superman to be ‘real,’ I just needed him to be more real than the Idea of the Bomb that ravaged my dreams. I needn’t have worried; Superman is so indefatigable a product of the human imagination, such a perfectly designed emblem of our highest, kindest, wisest, toughest selves, that my Idea of the Bomb had no defense against him. In Superman and his fellow superheroes, modern human beings had brought into being ideas that were invulnerable to all harm, immune to deconstruction, built to outsmart diabolical masterminds, made to confront our Evil and, somehow, against all odds, to always win” (xv).

 

Morrison speaks of a truth here that I too believe in. Superheroes are our ideas given form, they represent our “very best” selves, our ideals that though we think are unattainable, are in fact, never out of the question worth reaching for…

 

Morrison closes his introduction to Supergods (a book anyone who loves comic books, or ideas, or wanting to believe in something that can inspire you should read) by stating:

 

“We live in the stories we tell ourselves. In a secular, scientific rational culture lacking in any convincing spiritual leadership, superhero stories speak loudly and boldly to our greatest fears, deepest longings, and highest aspirations. They’re not afraid to be hopeful, not embarrassed to be optimistic, and utterly fearless in the dark…We should listen to what they have to tell us” (xvii).

I agree, we should listen to what they tell us about ourselves and about our world and what is possible.

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