Not the Hero we want, but the Hero we need.
I love superheroes. I think my first taste for the men and woman clad in spandex started when I watch X-Men as a child. I don’t know whether I watched the film first, or the 1990s cartoon. All I know is that I fell in love with heroes, and ever since wished something similar to happen to me (whether it be puberty-inducing superpowers, or a vat of radioactive substance).
I bring it up because I watch Batman V Superman today. To say it was a bit of a let down is an understatement, but that’s all I’ll say on the matter for now.
I will say that it is time to let go of some superheroes. Batman’s origin story has been over played, time and time again. It’s because we all love a good anti-hero, which is exactly what he is.
But I’m kind of sick of watching Batman be reborn.
Sure each time he is, the feel to the films changes. From the comedic element we saw in the 90s to the dark and gritty stuff Christopher Nolan introduced to the world (which was fantastic, but it has heavily influenced the way we view superheroes now).
There really is only a certain number of times I can watch Bruce Wayne’s parents die, though. We’ve seen it in Batman V Superman, Gotham, Batman Begins, and then there are the cartoons to consider too…
I love Batman, I do. Honestly, I get the appeal. But I would so rather watch a film where they introduce a new villain – or even have him as a background character. Especially if the actor has already been established as that character (like Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. You see him in any of the X-Men films and you laugh because you know who he is).
But the film world seem hellbent of explaining everything to you as if you were someone with amnesia and have never heard of Batman. As if the audience have not proven to love superheroes – that there is no nerd culture anymore because more and more people are into it. Are into buying comics, and playing video games.
I think I’ve bonded with people over superheroes more than anything else. It’s because with superhero films, you get a bit of everything. There’s a bit of romance, a LOT of action, humor, but most importantly, you get real character depth. You feel for superheroes.
You get Batman’s drive to find the man that murdered his parents. You get Professors Xavier’s ideal of a world where mutants and humans live in peace. They are like real people, just in extraordinary circumstances.
But what I love about superheroes, what I love about all science fiction and fantasy things, is that they always resemble the world as it is.
Think X-Men. The war between two different groups – the homo-sapiens and the homo-superiors. Humans Vs. Mutants. What they want are different things – humans to be in control; mutants to be left alone.
Does that remind you of anything?
We are currently at war with ISIS. Many people mistake ISIS for anyone who is a Muslim. Non-Muslims are seeking out Muslim blood just because of their religion. Muslim’s are forced out of their homes, trying to find a safe haven because ISIS are not just attacking the Western world.
What about homophobia? World War Two?
It’s a tale as old as time – because, guess what?
WE DON’T LEARN FROM OUR MISTAKES.
I love science fiction and fantasy because it puts things into perspective. We are too close to real life. We miss things. It’s only when we see it on our screens, read them in books, that we realize.
Haven’t you noticed the increase in Dystopian fiction/TV programs published later?
All the Hunger Games, Divergents, The 100, and every single superhero show and film out in the world. Seriously, the list goes on and on because we know we are killing our world. We know we are making the same mistakes our ancestors advised us against.
We just can’t see them.