by Thom Yee and Grace Crawford
All Man of Steel images courtesy of Warner Bros Pictures
Thom: The superhero concept has been around since 1938 and the debut of Superman in Action Comics #1. Superheroes have been with us long enough that, for a lot of people, they form a modern mythology more appealing than established faiths, a rich tapestry of stories instrumental in forming a set of core beliefs. Certainly for me, superheroes have been incredibly important and meaningful, and their stories have helped to inform who I am and most of everything I do. Of course, I would never claim that I regularly act heroically in any significant parts of my daily life, but every time I help someone out when I don’t need to, every small kindness, every moment of compassion comes from my view that good is its own reward and that we owe it to everyone to do right by them. And for me, most of those sensibilities came from reading comicbooks. If I was going to offer a theory on why superheroes endure in society and why, for many, they maintain fan followings into adulthood more so than many of the other elements of our childhoods, I would like to think it’s because they teach us about truth and justice in an unbreakable, intractable way; they help us to become the great people we can be and wish to be by giving us the light to show us the way. And in a world where religions destroy civilizations, where the Bible Belt won’t let go of its guns, and where priests are more associated with molestation than divinity, they do it in a way that we can actually be proud of.