Why We Love Superhero Stories

Tomorrow marks the release of “Captain America: Civil War”, and already the internet is buzzing with excitement.  We can’t wait to see Cap and Iron Man fight it out as both old and new Avengers pick sides to see what the future of Earth’s mightiest heroes might become.

Chances are the film is going to do well at the box office.  With past successes in other movies and comics, along with a loyal fanbase and decades of storytelling, superheroes are a type of character that seem to never go out of style.  We loved them as kids and we still love them as adults.

But why?  What is it that makes people like Superman, Storm, Silver Surfer, and Wonder Woman so appealing to us?  Why do kids pretend to be Batman, Spiderman, or Black Widow?

Here are a few reasons as to why I think we love superheroes so much:

1. Superheroes show that we can overcome any obstacle.

Name a superhero who lived an easy life.

No, really.  Try it.  It’s pretty difficult, isn’t it?

Superheroes rarely had it simple.  Whether it was losing their parents, fleeing home, or trying to fit in despite being so different, every superhero had a struggle.  Peter Parker dealt with bullies.  Some of the X-Men tried to hide because they were ashamed of who they were and how people would react.  Bruce Wayne witnessed his parents being killed and lived with the trauma from it the rest of his life.  But what they struggled with soon became their strength.  Peter’s uniqueness (along with some good advice from Uncle Ben) led him to not abuse his powers as Spiderman.  The X-men took their differences to promote peace and unity.  Bruce took control of his fear and turned it as a force for justice.  They all had chances of running away from their problems, but instead, they faced them and grew because of it.  Being a superhero isn’t just about saving others- it’s about saving yourself, as well.

2. Superheroes prove that character counts.

Grant it, not all superheroes are considered role models for the kiddies, but for the most part, superheroes promote values that are often overlooked in society.  Humility, integrity, justice, faith, love…though we often cling to these values, too often their opposites get more attention (and sometimes, praise).  Superheroes, however, promote being good because…it’s good.  There’s no catch, no deal, no requirement.  They’re simply helping others and protecting the weak because it’s the right thing to do.

3. Superheroes celebrate uniqueness.

Superheroes can represent the best of what humanity has to offer, but best of all- they’re unique!  Though some heroes often act as copycats of one another, they all have something that sets them apart.  Whether it’s who they are or what they look like, superheroes show that there isn’t just one type of person who can save the world.  We all can!  And we should never allow our differences to stop us from making a difference ourselves.

4. Superheroes show that we can work together.

Grant it, Cap and Iron Man may be ignoring this point at the moment, but they certainly aren’t the first set of superheroes to have a fight turn into a movie blockbuster (Batman vs. Superman, anyone?)  But even though heroes can disagree, they also are willing to set aside their differences to join forces for the greater good.  Though I won’t speak for Cap and Iron Man (spoilers!), other heroes united to accomplish great things and save the universe.

So whether you’re Team Cap, Team Iron Man, or Team I-Don’t-Care-Who-Wins-Because-DC-Is-Better-Anyways, I think we can agree on one thing: superheroes are great!

And we love them for it.