Monday, January 31, 2011

This I Believe

I'll say this right out: I believe in Superheroes. This is all figurative, of course, and as much as I'd like to believe in magic rings and mutant x-factors I'm quite aware of the impossibility (though still hopeful). There is no literal Batman, no Metropolis, and as far as we know no S.H.E.I.D Helicarrier. What I do believe in is the ideas represented in the panel of their stories.

I believe in the Green Lantern Corps. They keep peace as bright beacons of courage and honor throughout the galaxy. Theirs is a story of overcoming fear and tragedy to become something more than just an interstellar police force, but as symbol of the the inexhaustible potential of willpower and imagination. They represent a light cast over the cold black of space "In brightest day, In blackest night".

I believe in Superman. He is an immigrant from beyond the stars. He is the best of humanity despite not being human. Superman is literally a big blue Boy Scout, and despite internet flame wars and how awesome Batman is Superman is the greatest hero of earth. He was sent here by his father from beyond the stars and has given his life to save the world (sound familiar?). He is the answer to the question "what if God was one of us?"

I believe in Peter Parker. He truly enjoys being a Superhero. Sure he has a lot of teenage angst, but who doesn't?

I believe in the Flash: a man who can run faster than death and yet still slows down to make small talk.

I believe in the X-men. People everywhere are persecuted for being different, whether it's skin color or X-factor.

I believe in Captain America and the ideals of our nation.

I believe in Iron Man and Mr. Fantastic, and the wonders of Science.

I believe in the Spectre and Deadman and the infinite mysteries of God.

I believe in Batman. He's Batman.

I believe in Lois Lane, and the magic of true love.

I believe in Bruce Wayne, and that there is nothing a man cannot accomplish given the time and the effort.

In short, I believe men can fly. I believe that a person can becomes something more than just human. The most important aspect is not the Super or the Bat or the Woman, but the man and the woman. While they may be gods in our eyes or in canon they are innately human. They face the same choices we do with what they can direct their energies towards, and yet these all-powerful beings chose to work towards the betterment of mankind. I believe in a world where we use our powers to aide our fellow man rather than use out strength for personal gain.

There are days when it seems like it's easier to believe that wealthy industrialists will secretly fund vigilante justice than people will be decent to be one another, but I believe in not only humanity, but or potential for super-humanity. For every Lex Luthor there will be an army of Bruce Waynes and Tony Starks to set things right. An international force of heroes will come to the aid of the world to prevent crimes against humanity and relief after natural disasters. Is that to much to ask? I don't believe it is, because I will always believe that anyone can be Super.

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