Disclaimer: I do not know my superheroes extremely well, but I consider myself an interested party. I apologize if I get any facts wrong.
Most of you, at at least some point in your life, have looked up to or admired a superhero. (Yes, Sam, even you, with your whole “I don’t like superhero movies” thing.)
Now, superheroes have been around for a long time, but I personally think it all started with the creation of one alien.
Superman was… for lack of a better word, ‘perfect’. He had all the powers, he was the best good guy ever, and we loved it when he was first made. We wanted a god, so we got one. We got an unattainable alien with super strength, laser vision, and he never made a mistake.
That’s not to say he wasn’t good, he was. But his goodness began to wear on people. They wanted someone more human.
Now, there are two superheroes who can be labeled as the one who answered that call.
Spiderman was the most “ordinary” superhero at the time. He struggled with juggling normal life and superhero life, not to mention how much of a shock and change it had been to him in the first place. He messed up, he doubted himself, he didn’t always get the girl. Spiderman was… “normal”. He missed questions on his homework sometimes, he lost to the bad guys.
Spiderman represented our humanity.
But Batman, well, he’s another story (literally. Completely different company.). Batman was dark, he was brooding. Basically the embodiment of “tall, dark and handsome.” Batman was sick of all the crime in his city, so he became the Bat. He took on the villains, but sometimes, it was a little hard to differentiate between the two.
Batman was our darkness that we wanted to make better. And he succeeded, he made himself a better man. I mean, he raised how many kids over the course of his life? The guy eventually mellowed out a bit. (When you’re raising a bunch of orphan sidekicks, you tend to get a little softer).
And now, we still see this pattern.
We want a hero, we always will. We see this pattern over and over, good triumphing over evil.
I don’t count people like Deadpool or Deathstroke heroes.
Because they aren’t in it to save lives. To save human souls.
We started out with a god, but he was too high for us, so we made someone we could relate to. And we continued, every superhero representing something different in us.
But no matter what changed, good always triumphs over evil. Bad news may sell well, but movies with the villains winning? No.
That’s because there is something so human in us, so hoping, that someone will come to save us. That even while the shadows lurk around the corner, there is an angel of light ready to save us from the dark.
Now, this is when most people would say something along the lines of “in the end, really, you’re alone. Nobody will save you.”
But someone will.
His name is Jesus. And I know that we make so many comparisons to him being like Superman, but he’s really not like that. He knows pain, suffering, loneliness. He has been tempted, he has been persecuted. He has humility.
Everything that you’ve felt, that you’ve struggled with, he’s been there. He knows.
And he overcame it.
So I suppose, if we are to look up to anyone, it should be him.
Can’t you see it? Can’t you see?
Everything, everything good points to him. Everything good comes from him. Because somewhere in us, we know, we hope, that someone will come to save us.
So, in the end, when the shadows loom and stretch and try to swallow you whole, there’s an angel of light coming.