Heroes and their appeal
As I anxiously await my trip to see the midnight premier of Spider-man 3, I can't help but think about the success of not only the recent movies but of the comic and the TV shows it has also spawned.
Being a reader of John Eldredge's books, I see a definite case for the idea of Spider-man and many other pop culture &/or literary heroes serving as role models for us in real life.
A great illustration of how this particular social construct works is laid out in an episode of the short-lived but outstanding series Firefly. The crew of the ship Serenity arrived in a town that one of their members does not want to visit. In his last visit, "Jayne" had tried to steal from the local magistrate, but in a foiled get-away, had to dump his loot. The loot happened to fall in a local neighborhood of downtrodden residents. When they visit this town, they find a statue of the town's "hero", Jayne.
Jayne questioned their reasoning at the end of the episode, to which his captain replied that it was not the person that he is but the person they saw him to be that they needed. And we've seen it many times, people idolized as something that they are not, but as the example the community or culture needs.
I see icons like Spider-man filling this role. I doubt I'm the only one to say this and I know I'm not the first. Spider-man and Batman are the two greatest comic book heroes from the 20th century, both because of their popularity and their background, as they both were regular men that achieved greatness (granted Peter Parker had help from a radioactive/genetically modified spider and Bruce Wayne an inherited fortune). Both from a great loss learned a powerful lesson and took on an awesome responsibility for the greater good of all.
They are the kind of heroes we praise because they are the kind of heroes we want.
-the Progressive Conservative
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