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Heroes Man

Since I’ve been laid off of work (no worries, it happens every year and I prepare for it) I have been binge watching all the shows on Netflix that I’ve been wanting to really watch for a while now. Most importantly, I’ve been watching the super-hero shows, or anti-heroes depending. I’ve immersed myself into their worlds and have begun to think heavily on our connection to heroes (or anti-heroes) and why we find ourselves drawn to these characters specifically.

               Heroes have been apart of our landscape for a long time now, with many geeks world wide arguing over who came first and why. But that’s not why I’m here, because honestly that’s not the debate I’m looking to have. Mine is more of a spiritual or emotion level of understanding when it comes to heroes and their influence on us.

               Now, whether we are talking about Superman, Captain America, or Buffy Summers, we can all agree on one thing. They all can kick some serious ass. But they aren’t necessarily human, right? Superman is an alien (albeit an attractive one with his curl and thick glasses… Sorry honey), Captain America was subjected to military testing to become a super solder, and Buffy was(is) the chosen one and while they may appear human, they certainly posses traits that set them in a place that is separate from us.

               Did you read that? They are considered “different”, “odd”, “outcasts”, “strange” etc. Some of them even experience discrimination because of this. I remember on more then one occasion Buffy was called a freak because she was this tiny spit of a girl who could throw a grown ass adult man across a room and not even break a sweat. But she was also constantly reminded by her watcher to ease up, pretend like you aren’t capable of this, hide your true being, all under the guise of the safety of others. Because if they knew, they could be used against her by the forces of darkness. But I think too, a part of that was to protect her. Because we as humans, unless we allow ourselves to try and understand, automatically oppress or try to destroy anything that might be different to us because it may potentially hold a threat to our well-being.

               So, to those of us who are different, or have been labeled as a freak or an outcast, we see these heroes being treated the same way and we are able to relate to them. The only thing that separates us is the fact that Jessica Jones can lift a cement truck while I struggle over here with a 5-pound bag of potatoes.

               We see them going out night after night, fighting to keep people safe and getting the bad guy and usually the hero wins. Especially in today’s world, where there is so much evil, politicians covering up scandals, big corps destroying our planet and ability to survive, the little guy getting knocked down because an impoverished community is easier to control then a well-paid, well-fed one we wish that we could do those things that our comic book heroes are doing. We wish we could don a mask and head out on the streets and punch a few bad guys in the face and call it a day. We wish that those kinds of super heroes existed in our world, or that we existed in theirs.

               The truth is, we do have heroes in this world, just not bullet-proof ones. However, seldom do they win their battles alone. It takes a community or a world banding together and raising their voices and signs screaming for something to be done. It takes hours and hours in court with all the right information and someone who will not back down or say that I’m done. It takes hard, arduous work that sometimes kills our spirits little by little at every dead end we face. It takes time and patience, not facebook posts and prayers. It takes a back-bone and a hard stomach, but a soft heart, one that understands.

               I’ll be honest, this is not at all where I thought this was going to go. I was going to ramble on about how we are connected to heroes and why we look up to them, why we play them in our games, why we collect their stories and display their figures on our shelves. Why we choose endless amounts of hours spent arguing over who would win in a fight. They connect us. They give us something we can talk about and be proud of, they allow us a modicum of hope that maybe someone will stand up in our world and do the same thing for us. They save us simply by existing.

               Who is your favorite hero, any why? Me? I can’t choose a favorite. Except maybe Buffy and her friends. She’s pretty awesome. I was thinking about starting a hero series where I post my own creative writing story about a hero. What do you guys think? Is that content you’d like to read? Let me know in the comments below. Love to you all ❤

Published by Lady Storm

I am a spiritual practitioner that has walked many different paths. Some could call me a jack of all trades when it comes to belief systems. While I don't hold all the answers, I hold many tools that will help unearth answers to questions anyone may have.

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3 Comments

  1. Great to meet you (virtually!) earlier, and I look forward to hearing the podcast when it is released!

    The question of Hero/ines, now and in the past, is one I’ve spent a lot of time with. For the ancient Greeks, the only thing that was required if one was to be considered a Hero/ine is that one had to be dead, and the more strange the death, the better. This is why there are infant and child Hero/ines who don’t seem to have accomplished much in their lives who are venerated, because they died in a weird way (Demophoön in the Eleusinian Mysteries is one such). Another one that was very popular and who is the focus of one of the only texts from the ancient world on Heroes and Hero Cultus (namely Philostratus’ Heroikos, which I highly recommend!) is Protesilaos, who was the first ashore of the Greeks when they arrived in Asia Minor for the Trojan War, and was the first one to die.

    As for superheroes, perhaps we can think of them in a rather literal way, as “super” means “above” or “on,” and thus while regular Greek Hero/ines all have to be dead, superheroes are literally “above them” because they are still alive and therefore are “above the ground [where the Hero/ines are buried].” That is an interesting thought…!

    In terms of who I personally like for superheroes: I certainly loved Buffy back in the day (and Giles!)…but further than that, even though I enjoy the various Marvel films, I can’t say that I especially love any of the superheroes in them to the same extent as some other sorts of characters. I liked Archangel in Marvel comics back in the day (as just regular old Angel, he was a bit lame…), and a few others. I did enjoy Captain Marvel a lot, and also Black Panther (though I liked Akoye better than T’Challa, personally!). I think what I liked about Captain Marvel was that she was more powerful than anyone realized, and it wasn’t until she stopped listening to others that she was able to unleash that power…

    There’s got to be some gender-diverse superheroes out there somewhere…perhaps some of them should have a show one of these days?

    [I’ve binged several Netflix shows this summer, and one of them was all three seasons of 13 Reasons Why–the first two over about two days in July, and then the third this past weekend when it came out–which was more impactful than I had anticipated it being for a variety of reasons. I am also excited about the new Dark Crystal show coming this Friday!]

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    1. I was so glad to have been able to talk to you and listen to all the knowledge you hold! I’m sure what we covered was only a drop in the bucket of what you have stored away! It was a wonderful conversation and I greatly enjoyed it!

      I love the idea of Superheros being what they are because they are still alive and will eventually transcend that boundary into Hero/ines when they die. Such an interesting concept.

      My favorite heroes are the ones that are seemingly human with little to no super natural powers because I can relate to them on such a deeper level. The idea that through rigorous training and study can make even me into a super hero gives me hope that I can always be better. I know produces/writers shy away from going in depth with their training and opt to have a montage instead because it’s more entertaining, but I like to think about how much time has passed for that hero/ine and how much effort had to be put into their training to make them the way they are. To me, it means anyone is capable of being a hero/ine.

      I agree, I think the superhero realm is lacking a more gender-diverse group of heroes. I’m sure they are out there somewhere, but to have that representation eventually would be super awesome!

      I haven’t seen 13 reasons why yet, and I think I watched Dark Crystal as a child and it freaked me out, but I will certainly give it a chance in my adult life ❤

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  2. I suspect one of the reasons that Ancient Greek drama was so effective in giving its viewers an experience of katharsis is because of exactly what you’ve mentioned here: the “tragic heroes” in them are easy to relate to, to see ourselves in them, often because they’re not especially wise, powerful, or other such things that the larger-than-life “superheroes” (or Deities or children of Deities, etc.) often are. If anyone can potentially be in their shoes, then anyone can end up in their situations…and that can have both positive and negative potential results, but let’s always hope for the positive in our own cases, eh?

    Indeed, it was great to have that rollicking and rambling conversation with you and the others, and I hope we can do so again in the future!

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