Hello readers! Today is the first anniversary of this blog!
I look back at the posts from a year ago… yikes. I think my writing has definitely improved since then. (Please don’t go read those. It’s painful sometimes…) I’m still planning on continuing to write here, since reviews are something I’ve always enjoyed. On that note, I’d like to apologize for not posting much. It’s been a rough month, and I haven’t had much time to either watch new movies (except for some musicals – post on that soon) or play new games. However, I just picked up a few slightly older DS games, and I’ll be posting my thoughts on those in the next couple weeks, along with some TV recaps as seasons finish up in the next couple months.
Since this is an anniversary post, I’m going to talk about something that I both enjoy immensely, and has been oddly popular in the past year. That thing is superheroes!
First off, I don’t have a preference between DC and Marvel. I love both of them equally. My favorite characters are divided fairly equally between the two, the heroes being (in no particular order) The Flash (either Barry or Wally), Daredevil, Green Lantern (John Stewart), and Captain America. I also enjoy a good villain, however, and those are (in no particular order) The Reverse-Flash, Harley Quinn, Green Goblin, Magneto, and Doctor Doom. (Personally, I find DC’s villains to be far more memorable, but they’re not my favorites. Weird.) A lot of these have shown up on the screen recently, or they’re about to.
TV and movies have been saturated with superheros in the past few years. We’ve gotten Arrow, The Flash – and soon Vixen – from the CW, with those shows not only featuring the title character, but other heroes as well (Ray Palmer/Atom along with maybe a future Green Lantern from Diggle on Arrow, some hints of Vibe from Cisco on The Flash…) I’m looking forward to Vixen, honestly. However, the CW is not the only one producing superhero television – Netflix is releasing Daredevil soon (yay!), ABC has Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (started slow, got good at the end of season 1) and Fox has Gotham (ehh… I’m watching it out of a morbid fascination with where they can take it next at this point…) Fan series of varying quality abound, and the movie industry has schedules for their Marvel and DC films. Needless to say, I don’t see a lack of superhero material in the next three years. Avengers 2, The Flash (why couldn’t you have put Grant Gustin in there!?), Doctor Strange, and two Justice League movies (Looking forward to Dawn of Justice!). I’ve also recently started in on reading comic books, and there’s no shortage of content there, either.
So why is that? Why are superheroes so popular in our culture at this time?
The truth is, I’m not entirely sure. I’m planning on writing an essay exploring that question. My initial thoughts are that we look for heroes, people who fight for the greater good. We have everyday heroes such as the police, firefighters, our military, but they can’t save everyone. People want a hero, someone who takes care of the things that the police can’t catch. Muggings, small-time robberies, a house fire where the firefighters can’t go in. We look up to our everyday heroes – but what if there was someone who did all those things for no credit or reward?
And to go with that hero, there must be a villain. Someone who poses a true threat – someone with no remorse or moral qualms. The Flash, the fastest man alive, has the Reverse-Flash, faster than him. Batman, grim and down-to-earth, has the Joker, a giggling psychopath. Captain America has Red Skull, the antithesis of what he believes in. Without a villain to keep stirring up trouble, our hero has no long-term reason to go on, to improve. We watch and read these heroes and villains battle it out for years, winning individual confrontations, although neither side ever truly wins the war. We cheer the heroes on, boo the villains. We appreciate a well-played plot on either side, and we spend our time wishing we were heroes too.
Granted, these issues can get iffy in real life. Is vigilante justice a good thing or a bad thing? I’m inclined to believe that vigilante justice is fine. Not everyone is cut out to be a police officer, and not everyone wants the credit. They just want to make a difference. I think that, quite possibly, that’s the crux of the matter. We want to make a difference – we just don’t know how. So we look to the screen and comics to find someone who does make a difference, and we idolize them. I think there are definitely worse things we could do – at least with superheroes, we can gain something good – confidence, a desire to help others. Superheroes impact people in ways that we can’t always measure immediately, but eventually show up in a choice, words, or just general behavior. And all through this, we continue to cheer on both our everyday heroes and our fictional supers.
I’ll step off my soapbox now, but what do you think? Are superheroes just a temporary thing, or are they an integral part of society that will never leave?