I am amazed at how much superheroes permeate our culture presently. I remember back in the 60’s and 70’s (yes, I am that old!) that comic book heroes were essentially limited to television cartoons and nothing else. I vividly remember watching Spiderman on Saturday mornings. As for television, I remember that Batman was very popular in the 60’s and that later in the 70’s it was “The Incredible Hulk” that was at the top of the charts but I can’t remember a single movie made during the 60’s and 70’s about heroes from comic books that scored big with spectators. Prove me wrong dear reader! It was really much later that the genre took off with all spectators, not only the geeks and aficionado’s of comic books.
The movies and shows on television about superheroes now seem to take themselves very seriously and essentially take on an adult view of things. It seems now as if the world did depend on them defeating the villains. There is a big difference between the Batman that I enjoyed in the 60’s and 70’s and the Batman of today, dark and brooding. I do enjoy Marvel’s Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D and I do like the spin-offs of these movies, but I can’t help wonder what they are suggesting about these times we live in. We seem to need superheroes more than ever in our lives and in our imaginations. Some people will admit that they seem to live in a parallel universe, one in which superheroes can single-handedly save the world and then the normal world, where human idiocy dominates.
I am perplexed at the change in tone, as if the creators of these series imply that our problems are now so enormous that we now need the kind of help that only superheroes can give. But I am afraid that if we wait for them to appear we will wait till kingdom come. We seem to be waiting for someone to lead us out of the mess that this world is in but this wait is sterile.
No superhero will save us from our follies, but each of us individually is the solution to any problem that this planet has. Each of us can enact solutions individually that when put together can solve any problem, or at least alleviate it. The real enemy is not the absence of real superheroes, but indifference and lack of motivation to act and especially, to decide.