When you think of a superhero one normally thinks of Spiderman, Batman, or Superman, but there were Superheroes long before these characters were created. First one must understand that the basis of this name is hero. What is a hero? A hero is a person who does something special or out of the ordinary in order to help others. It could also be someone who is admired for a characteristic about them, be it physical or mental. They are individuals that normal everyday people can look up to.
This being the case, a superhero is nothing more then someone who is a hero, but not just that once and for that one person, but someone who helps many people, or leads them. As time went by the number of people who were true heroes diminished and just doing something for someone was no longer big news. There had to be something more to make them stand out. The American culture needed someone or something to admire and that is where our common day superheroes come into play. It gave them a goal which could never be reached in hopes that people would never stop trying.
When one thinks about it, though it may be hard to believe, superheroes stem from God.
This began as early back as Greek gods, then leading to Jesus. Jesus was a seemingly normal man who helped everyone, and led people. He was the ultimate superhero of his time. Once he was gone and became no more than a story passed down from father to son, people began to crave what was new, what was in the now.’ That is when tales of knights on horses and boys crawling up bean stalks and all the other fairy tales and tall tales began. This can be seen very clearly in the early American settlers.
Back towards the beginning of American history we see superheroes arising for the first time in our culture. They were not necessarily able to fly or see through walls. However, they were still extraordinary people. Their stories were passed from father to son and the story grew with every telling. People like Paul Bunyan and Pecos Bill were just two of the many tales of the time which spoke of men doing extraordinary things. These tales wouldn’t excite forever, though.
As years go by our country and its people become less and less naive and craved more. A giant man with a blue ox and an axe just could not suffice. People become more and more numb to pain and murder, and needed more than these tall tales.
It was soon after this that people began looking for someone else to admire, whether they were real or not. Someone who they can not overcome. Someone who will lead them and help them be who they were meant to be.
Some look to politicians, others to mob leaders, but either way they are just looking for answers. This became harder for the youth to find. Sure they had their mothers and fathers, but they could only do so much for them. Then comic books and television came into play. Here they could see these seemingly ordinary people doing amazing things. They wanted to be just like them.
It gave them structure and a feeling of guidance. They knew what they wanted to do and they began trying to do it. Now, children weren’t stupid enough to go out and try to fly, but they could pretend when they played. Jumping from sofa to sofa on there way to saving the girl. But again, as time went on, people wanted more.
This is when the superhero movies became a huge deal.
For the first time you could actually see your hero doing all the things you had read about them doing. The excitement was back and raging. superheroes took almost a God like effect on the American culture. The common day phrase, “What Would Jesus Do?” was then, “What Would Superman or Batman Do?” The more movies that came out the stronger the pull of them really was. But as these boys began to grow up, they tried to be more grown up. The movies stopped and people .