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The Importance of Superman
Why Heroes Matter To Your Personal Development
I love Superman. He is my favorite hero. Ever since I was a kid, I have always wanted to be like him: strong, capable, morally consistent, and a savior of people.
Of course, I do not live up to that lofty visage. Whether it be Superman or great saints, I fall pathetically short of my ideal. I want to be like Superman, but I am not super. I am just a man and a lowly one at times.
So why have heroes? If most of them are not real (like Superman) or are literal gods (like Jesus) or great men and women who seem to come once in a lifetime (like Booker T. Washington), then why have heroes? Why look to the sky if you know you can never fly?
Because the attempt is crucial. The desire to fly leads man to make planes. The desire for greatness leads him to alleviate the pain of his fellow man. His passion for excellence leads to him uplifting himself, so he may be the virtuous hero he always searched for.
So, have heroes. Look up to the sky and find the men and women who show you can do and be more.
Works About Superman
Most discussions about Superman are a waste of time. People either make him evil or reduce him to a brute.
However, there is wheat in the chaff. From fiction to video essays, many individuals have taken the task of analyzing Superman seriously, and we are all the better for it.
Kingdom Come - The best piece of reconstruction art I have ever consumed. After Superman loses everything, he goes into exile. The people he once defended no longer accept his merciful approach to dealing with criminals. In anyone else's hands, this story would have been bleak, violent, and forgettable. But Mark Waid and Alex Ross use Superman’s story to promote the good while acknowledging the shortcomings of being a good person.
All-Star Superman - All-Star Superman is just fun. Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely chronicle Superman’s last months of life. The adventures are creative, reflective, and inspiring. But above all else, Superman’s optimism, heroism, and hope shine past the reality of his impending death.
Superman Is the Hero We Need Right Now - Superman has always been the hero we needed. While many would pretend that a fictional character in tights has nothing to do with real-world issues, I disagree. Out Of Frame provides the best argument as to why.
A Good Man Is Dangerous - Jocko Willink and Jordan Peterson - His self-control has always made Superman compelling. He could take over the Earth, possibly the universe, but he exercises restraint on his power to achieve the best outcome. It’s an excellent lesson for any individual.
Regarding Clark - Max Landis breaks down what makes Superman unique and compelling: his positive upbringing and desire to do good for the sake of doing good.
Why Superman Is So Hard To Get Right - Kenji Wares analyzes what makes Superman so unbelievable: it is not that a man can fly or bend steel beams. What people find incredible is that he is a good man.
I like heroes, and I write about heroes.
No, I write about people who are flawed but earnestly seek redemption. These are the characters I write about. Not “boring" or “perfect” characters but individuals seeking to be great despite their flaws and vices. Such personalities are designed to inspire you to pursue virtue in your own life.
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