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 ❤