Created on: January 30, 2013 Last Updated: February 01, 2013
Super-heroes such as Spider-Man, Batman and Superman have been loved for generations. First they started off as comic book heroes and then in later years have come to life on both the small and big screen. So loved are super-heroes after all these years that even in 2012 both ‘The Avengers’ and ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ rated among the highest grossing films of the year.
So why do audiences love super-heroes so much? Well for some people these are the kind of stories where you can let you imagination run completely wild, for them there is no sense of realism at all. For these kind of people you can just sit back in your chair and watch as a man who can fly can go about saving the world or a God with a hammer comes to Earth and falls in love while protecting those meek humans from being invaded by a growing evil.
But then for other people the experience of watching or reading about a super-hero actually does have a sense a realism ... in fact it is something really personal. Think back to how some of the great super-heroes have come about. Before Peter Parker became Spider-Man he was that kid that everybody at school picked on day-in-day-out, then of course there was poor Clark Kent a child who could never play sports at school because with his brute strength he could seriously hurt someone.
For a lot of the kids that read comics they are the kids that can’t play sport and get picked on everyday so reading about super-heroes not only gives them an escape from the sad world they live in but also gives them hope. If Peter Parker and Clark Kent can overcome their problems and become a ‘hero’ then maybe one day there is hope for them as well.
Then of course there are stories that go even deeper than that. Bruce Wayne wasn’t a kid that got picked on, he was a boy that found himself going through something horrific when he witnessed the murder of his parents. For many children going through something terrible is awful but by reading or watching something to do with Batman they again have a role model that they can look up to. Bruce Wayne could have taken two paths after the murder, he could have gone to the dark-side and sought a dark sort of revenge but instead he went for finding justice... and that is just one of the many morals you can find in a story about super-heroes.
There is little wonder that audiences love super-heroes so much. Whether we use them as an escape or because we can identify with some small part of their lives or because we used to love pulling on that red cape and pretending we could fly super-heroes will always be loved because they play such an important part in many people’s lives.
Learn more about this author, Dave Griffiths.
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