What is a hero to you? Is it just a guy with incredible powers? Maybe a hero is someone who is a skilled fighter or is a superhero more than that. Perhaps a hero is more than just the big muscles and fighting skills.
Throughout history, heroes or superheroes have been told mythological tales to give children hope. When you think of famous heroic tales, you most likely think of the traditional stories of Achilles, Hercules and Superman. Why is that? Of course, the fact that they were skilled fighters who could beat entire armies or monsters or even achieve unimaginable feats is a great argument, but that is not what makes them a hero since the villain most often has similar abilities to the hero.
Perhaps it’s not the difference in powers or fighting skills, but the difference in morality and humanity. Although from another planet, Superman feels more human than Kryptonian, Achilles, and Hercules even though they are almost invincible, and sometimes, in our modern way of thinking immoral, in their mythic tales, they will risk their lives for Briseis and the princess of Troy. This can also be said about Superman and Lois Lane. Because even with their extraordinary abilities, they show a sense of humanity and weakness to a very human emotion, “love,” which allows them to connect to the reader or viewer.
Another factor that makes a character a hero is his sense of forgiveness, no matter the cause. Batman and Superman are great examples. When Superman fights Zod in the infamous Man of Steel, even when he sees that Zod, in his last moments, is going to kill a family, he still mourns his death because he is not a killer and wants to avoid killing his enemies. Batman is even more of a hero in that sense.
Even after all the killing Joker had caused, he still doesn’t let go of him and saves him from falling to his death, thus showing once again the difference in their life choices because no matter the circumstances, Batman knows that killing one man will not save Gotham City. This is a hero, a person who understands the importance of life and second chances and, even after a long-fought battle, still gets back up and helps survivors like in “The Batman” (2022).
This is where DC went right, no matter their Box office numbers and Franchises like Marvel, Invincible, and The Boys went wrong because a hero is someone who, no matter the pain he has gone through during battle, he will still get up to help in any way he can, but he will most definitely not go eat some tacos as some kind of lame attempt at a joke.
In no way am I trying to belittle Marvel or any other franchise, but recently, that’s what heroes and superhero movies have become cool fight scenes, even perhaps obscene imagery, and a couple of “funny” jokes. We aspire to be our heroes, but to do that; you need to have a hero with morals and emotions such as love and happiness, not anger and depression, because if so, then is that really what you aspire to be an angry and depressive person?