Why Superheroes Matter

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The visual narrative of the comic book is the basis of modern mythology in America; just as Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon came to us through the Greek culture, Superman, Captain America, and the X-Men represent the American culture from which they came. These are our modern-day Gods, Heroes, our mythos, our commentary on our society.

During the Golden Age of Comics, American idealism can be clearly be seen through the written word, how rugged and fearless each hero was, but more importantly, how invulnerable they were.  The heroes went to war, took on day-to-day crime, and all the while helping the average person around town. The early heroes were designed to be the perfect heroes.

Over the years, Superheroes have changed with the times. They became socially aware, sometimes cynical and sarcastic. The heroes started to come with flaws and aware of the issues that awaited us in the real world such as the Cold War, the War on Drugs, and most recently, the current War on Terrorism. In other words, comics and their hero counterparts reflect the attitude and feeling of the society to which they belong. This is our living mythology. Just as the Greeks, our mythology has been created and evolving year after year, decade after decade.

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