The word “superhero” dates back to 1916. The first comic book superhero appeared in 1938. His name is Superman. You might have heard of him.
The superhero genre fascinates me. Some, like Buck Rogers or John Carter, were set in the future. The artists behind the comics had to imagine what life would be like, what technology would be available, and what clothes we would be wearing. Some, like Zorro, hearkened back to days gone by. They were romanticized reflections of past times. Others, like Captain America, were contemporaries of their readers. Fighting the world’s evil. From a historical perspective, they’re interesting.
But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Despite all of our technological advancement — when the word superhero was coined man had barely taken flight and most people were still driving Model Ts — and all of our modern day “heroes”, we still love superheroes. We still fill theaters for the latest Marvel flick. Stan Lee is a nerd icon that has made it to the mainstream. And we read both pulp-based and electronic comics still.
The world needs superheroes. Regardless of how advanced a civilization we have become we still need to escape into another world where good always triumphs over evil. With 24-hour news cycles and technology that brings images and stories of human atrocity into our living rooms, we need to be reminded that there can be good out there. That as flawed as we are as human beings, good can still happen.
[Image Credit: Marvel Entertainment]