The Problem With Superheroes

I think I’m the first to say it (ever) but here goes… I don’t like superheroes. Not batman or Superman or any of them. Not even their famous villains (the Joker springs to mind) I just don’t find them interesting.

Obviously I don’t totally hate every superhero (Guardians of the Galaxy and the Incredibles being some of my favourites) but sometimes it’s interesting to look at things from a different perspective.

Superheroes are defined as “a benevolent fictional character with superhuman powers, such as Superman.”

With the new Avengers film out and everyone obsessing over it, watching and talking about it I thought it would be interesting to explore why superheroes aren’t as good as some may think (at least to me!).

Super Powers:

One of the first things that spring to mind is superhero powers. To me there is something about the almost limitless powers (superman in particular) that takes away the tension. Even the few superheroes who are just normal people (Batman) use their lack of powers as their USP then are still able to pull of crazy superhuman stunts usually explained as being thanks to some awesome gadget.

The other thing about superhero powers that is perhaps a result of growing up on fantasy and magic, is that I find it annoying when their powers are explained by science. It’s not so much because I think just saying its magic and being done with it is better. But it’s because the science used is often largely (or totally) fictional and illogical. In that case it would be easier to say its ‘magic’ and leave it at that.

Tropes:

Every genre has its tropes, from fantasy to comic books. However, maybe as a result of the recent swarm of Superhero films the tropes of the genre have become increasingly off-putting. From the perfect defender of justice and inevitable time the ‘turn evil’ for an episode or film to the evil villain with their inevitable monologue. Something about tropes of any kind can be off-putting and that for me is where films, stories and games that combat these tropes stand out.

Worlds:

The final thing about superheros that I don’t fully understand is the worlds and lore behind the superhero worlds. Something about a superhuman with the power to destroy cities every time they fight their nemesis, level nations on a whim and end the world on an off day always lead to one thought. How are any of the nations in that world (usually america) still functioning and why haven’t they sent their armies and attempted to stop the superhuman from destroying their cities? Obviously superhero stories are not meant to be serious settings fit with deep histories and lore, unlike middle earth for example.

Possibly its a result of my magical, fantasy filled upbringing to me the more traditional heroes of legend with swords and magic are more interesting than the godly superhumans of comic books and Avengers films. The few superhero films I like are usually the more comedic films and human rather than superhuman ones (Guardians of the Galaxy) and the ones that try to address society’s reactions to having superheroes in their cities (the Incredibles as an example). But that’s just my opinion, what do you think of superheroes? Who are your favourites or least favourites?

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3 thoughts

      1. I would say the first two X-Men films are the best ones, although that is just my opinion. I would also recommend watching X-Men: The Animated Series, its pretty faithful to the comic book storylines, but it is showing its age with a quite a few 90’s references.

        Liked by 1 person

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