People draw inspiration from all different kinds of sources, however I don’t mean creative or artistic inspiration. This post isn’t about that, in fact it’s about a very specific form of inspiration, and one that is semi-controversial, but not in a serious pro-life sort of way. I want to talk a little bit about superhero movies, or comics, well, just them in general.
I was talking to my wife last night about it after watching a Comic-con video of Gal Gadot talking to a little girl dressed as Wonder Woman. The little girl in question was bawling her eyes out at meeting her hero. The entire Justice League panel took notice, Ben Affleck commented on how sweet it was, and Ezra Miller commented that it’s the little girls ability to cry that makes her a true warrior; he even invited her to be a member of the Justice League.
Now, whether or not Gal Gadot is the girl’s hero, or if it’s Wonder Woman, it doesn’t really matter. People say that celebrities have an obligation to be friendly, and role models for the public, and children in general. I don’t believe that’s the case. At the core of it, they’re professionals doing a job. Would a steel worker or a taxi driver be obligated to be nice to everybody they meet and all that, probably not. The point is, it’s they’re job to act, it doesn’t mean they have to be nice to everybody they meet, and that’s why it gets me every time I see a celebrity being nice, and going the extra mile.
But I’ve gotten off topic. This is about inspiration, real life inspiration. A lot of people don’t get these superhero movies. They think there are too many; they think they’re money grabs, and while those perspectives are valid, they aren’t always true. These characters, these heroes mean a lot to some people, and to see them in live action on the big screen makes them feel more real. Countless people grew up reading comics, and fantasizing about being a superhero themselves, and who is anybody to judge that.
These characters all stand for something. They all want to do good and help the innocent – Is there any cause greater than that? They save the world from whatever evil is out there and don’t want anything in return. It’s noble, and if you think it’s lame to idolize these characters, then I wonder who it is that you look up to, or did when you a kid.
I’ll answer that for you, actually. If you’re reading this and thinking I had real life heroes. And by that you may mean a firefighter, or a cop. Maybe an athlete? That’s fine, but not everybody based in reality is relatable. The difference between Superman and a war hero aren’t too dissimilar, but perhaps some people want to escape reality. A bullied, abused, or harassed kid doesn’t really want to live in the real world, so where do they go? A place where people like him have a savior. A place where Spider-Man will swing from the highest building and stop the bad guy. Chances are, a bullied kid doesn’t have anybody like that in their life.
Another aspect of these heroes is that they are two people. Of course I’m talking about alter-egos, which offers another form of escapism for their fans. Let’s face it, not everybody is happy with who they are, and a lot of people wish that they could shed their skin and be somebody else – that is exactly what many of these iconic heroes do. Clark Kent by day, Superman by night. An average every day person becoming the hero they were meant to be. Peter Parker, a smart, but nerdy kid who hadn’t had the easiest go of things, yet when he puts the suit on, he gains an immense amount of confidence and power.
So when people say, what’s the big deal about Wonder Woman, or any of these comic book movies, they really just can’t understand what it means to a bullied kid to see their hero or heroine up close. It gives them hope, it gives them strength. It gives them what the fictional character has always intended for people in their worlds, only it’s spilled over into real life. Seeing a little boy or girl getting so emotional, so passionate, about seeing someone they look up the most in this world… Is that such a bad thing?