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Mackenna Lee


Disembark, Grow, Illuminate.

Superheroes undeniably are epic. The Spidermen movies entered my childhood and introduced the fantasy of crime-fighting, damsel-saving, and tights-wearing. The Nolan Batman trilogy awed me with its transcendence to real-world grittiness.

We habitually root for the Davids facing the crushing ruin of Goliath’s weight, for “the little guy” to triumph against overwhelming odds.

Americans worship superheroes. Our high appraisal pairs nicely with an insatiable feast of “good defeating evil”.

It’s hilarious to realize the fictional citizens of comic books show restraint. The everyday people of Gotham and Metropolis often raise their voices in outcry.

Will this masked vigilante truly solve our problems? Is he / she causing reckless damage to property? I

I propose we rip a storyboard from that page. The 2010’s was a decade for superheroes, and it’s enthralling to watch diversity creeping into the production and credits of major motion pictures. Though, what is our fandom returning on our investment in ticket sales and merchandise?

The Origin Story

The superhero’s task is simple – save the day. Usually a humanoid (or a team of humanoids) swoops in to eradicate our impending demise. In a slow-mo-infused, CGI-heavy battle, the oddly-colored villain fades to dust.

And we all watch. Then, we all get on with our lives.

Or do we?

The Arc

Doomsday 24×7 encircles 2020. Much of what we worry about is valid – pandemic, international relations, individual liberties. Each of these pressures coalesce in shaping our future.

Most individuals disconnect our input from these weighty headlines. I claim little credit for the wars we’ve won (and lost), the civilians we’ve killed, or the aid we’ve delivered.

Those responsible appear as an untouchable presiding force – presidents, diplomats, mayors, CEOs. The game long established its players and power structures.

The Resolution

Our love of superheroes makes sense. We plainly ascribe “good” and “evil” to issues, people, and outcomes, similar to our caped crusaders and the villains they oppose. While we categorize dualistically, we wait for others to make decisions we benefit or suffer from.

There is harm in rigid compartmentalization, as fools us into believing we are not players.

My micro-interactions with others bear responsibility for action and in-action. The conversational norm urges a “go with the flow” mentality over advocating for humanity.

We are capable of igniting change. It’s the citizens that must save the city, fueled by the persevering embodiment of goodness and dismissal of “evil”.

Kill the superhero but not the ideals they symbolize.

It’s the citizens that must save the city, fueled by the persevering embodiment of goodness and dismissal of “evil”.

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