Why do we buy into the hype around superheroes?
There are plenty of superhero movie released every single year. The cinema fills up with people from all walks of life, all of them queuing up to get a hit of the superhero phenomenon. But there needs to be an explanation – an explanation as to why the comic book and film industries make billions of dollars each and every year on characters that are purely fictional. The bigger question is: why do we buy into it?
There is a sense of hope: a belief that something bigger than what you are capable of is taking care of the world’s problems. A lot of the superhero movies that are out there, including the new box office hit Black Panther, have been adapted from either DC or Marvel comics.
Black Panther broke dozens of records within the film industry. One, for the first ever superhero movie containing a large number of black actors. It was long overdue, and was really a symbol of racial barriers being broken within Hollywood.
When you look at the movie itself, does it differ from any other superhero movie out there? No. There is the villain who is out to destroy the balance of the world and add further destruction and conflict to society. There is the superhero who rises and wants to protect the world and contains a certain skillset or power in order to do this.
Spiderman, Iron Man, and even Captain America are few among the many whose powers have risen out of an incident which changed their lives forever. This is the fantasy element, which is an explanation of why we have an obsession over superheroes.
Peter Parker is an average college student who happens to get bitten by a spider on a school trip. He then develops powers which resemble a spider’s, such as the ability to cling to any surface.
I don’t know about you, but after seeing this movie for the first time, I was convinced that something out of the ordinary could happen to me and in turn make me an extraordinary being. It’s not only that, but I also believe that the good guy can defeat the bad guy – and watching superhero movies provides me with an innate feeling of satisfaction when my belief and fantasy is brought to life.
So, what it boils down to is that our obsession is based on our fantasies and expectations of a being which is better than us.
But this is what makes the superhero phenomenon a billion dollar industry: we all want to be the superhero fighting the bad guys.