Superheroes’ Recent Popularity In The Movies…

Superheroes’ recent popularity in the movies is probably for good reason. Dr. Zero expounds on it with a nifty essay.

“Superheroes are not produced by central planning or political fiat.  Even when the government manages to create one, it’s a miraculous accident.  Most of them are ordinary people who were granted power through an improbable frenzy of science or the elements, struck by lightning or bathed in radiation, rewarded for a moment of pure kindness by ancient wizards or dying aliens.  Some make a willing choice to accept their power and the obligation to use it wisely, swearing into a battle against evil that has raged across aeons and galaxies.  Others find themselves fumbling through a crazy new life without an instruction book (or, if there was such a book, they promptly lose it.)  Their enemies cannot be appeased, and they’re not impressed by noble gestures. The superhero story expresses themes of duty and responsibility, courage and initiative, on the towering scale of mythology.  We all write the pages of history, but superheroes do it with boldface capital letters.

Iron Man is the most perfectly American superhero, next to Captain America, whose own movie is on the way.  The armored avatar of resourcefulness and ingenuity, Tony Stark does what capitalists always do, in the long run: create incredible possibilities, far beyond the narrow vision of politicians with constituencies to appease.  He understands that no one else can lift the burden of responsibility from his shoulders, and he’ll be damned before he lets anyone take it by force.  His marvelous suit of armor is his defiant statement that threats to his loved ones and fellow citizens are no longer Somebody Else’s Problem.  He doesn’t want to run for office, but he’s a perfect American leader nonetheless – funny, creative, maddening, indomitable, in love with himself and everyone around him, and completely uninterested in blaming anyone else for his troubles.  He cleans up his own mistakes.  I’d vote for him.”

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