COMICS UNIVERSE - Page 4

WHY ARE WE OBSESSED WITH SUPERHEROES?

Let’s face it, we live in a Comic Book Age! There is a global obsession with superheroes and superhero movies are watched by hundreds of millions of people all over the world. Films usually reflect the tastes and values of the period in which they are made, but what will historians say about us when they look back at this superhero frenzy in the distant future?

In order for us to be able to comprehend this obsessive trend, one has to define the term ‘Superhero’. In plain words a superhero is an alien, an average human being or an outcast who possesses unique powers acquired either at birth or through some accident, gift or technology. In the comics universe the vast majority of normal humans are mere bystanders, almost powerless while their survival depends on the good will of the Gods.

The idea of a ‘Superbeing’ is quite familiar to our collective memory. Almost every ancient civilization had developed the idea of a supernatural being, either benevolent or malevolent, in an attempt to justify misfortunes or a stroke of luck, extreme weather conditions, natural disasters, even life itself or death. The most common word for a being with such traits was God and it is in this sense that a comics superhero is a God or Demigod of modern mythology. According to Travis Anderson, philosophy professor in Brigham Young University, “The Greeks had the notion of beings who were half god and half men. These demigods represent a union between god and man, and are often attributed with shared characteristics … I would suggest the notion of a superhero comes from that idea.”

By Valia Skivalaki

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