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We need to talk about our obsession with Superheroes

by Carlton Whitfield. Published Tue 09 Jan 2018 17:57

What is it about our growing obsession and fascination with superheroes? A month doesn’t seem to go by without a new superhero movie being released or a new superhero game coming out to excite us.

It’s kind of crazy when you think about it, and we here at Purple Revolver did ruminate on it and then thought we should try and get a better understanding of this super new super trend.

Batman, Superman, X Men, The Hulk, Captain America, Spiderman… the list is seemingly infinite. These films are major hits. In fact some of the biggest blockbusters of the 21st Century have been in this genre, as you’re undoubtedly aware.

Actually, there already ten major pictures scheduled for release this year, kicking off with Black Panther in February. (Check this out for the full list.) But what does this say about us... Is our love of this genre perhaps, dare we say it, a little… childish?

The idea that we have an immature culture isn’t a pleasing one, but the provenance of the majority of these characters is undeniably children’s comics. This journalist’s grandfather was in fact shocked and disappointed that his adult grandson played a Batman computer game, which tells us something about the shift in attitude from generation to generation.

Would he be caught dead playing the superhero themed jackpot games like the kind you get on InterCasino? Well no, probably not, but frankly he’s missing out and probably being quite narrow-minded.

You see, there have always been superheroes of one kind or another. After all, isn’t Odysseus from Homer’s Ancient Greek classic The Odyssey just an early form of superhero? He was a man who went all over the place and did all sorts of heroic stuff beyond what any ordinary bloke could achieve, just like our Batman does.

In fact, come to think of it, aren’t all those Ancient Greek gods and goddesses just ancient versions of our superheroes? There are characters such as Zeus with his insane body-builder physique and his crazy lightning bolts, and then there are stunning, strong independent ladies such as Athena.

It’s ironic that these gods and their adventures are considered so sophisticated by the very people who look down their noses at the likes of Captain America. Why are marble sculptures any more “mature” than films? What makes oil paintings depicting marvellous exploits using special effects of the time such as perspective, any less “childish” than films that use special effects such as “bullet time”?

So clearly it’s not childish to idealise human beings and create perfect versions of ourselves. In fact on the contrary it’s a very positive trait as it shows that we’re always trying to improve ourselves and perfect our imperfect natures.

Evidently it’s something that is entirely human and has been for millennia. All of which means that next time a superhero film or game is released we can get as excited as we jolly well please and feel absolutely no shame about it.



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