This is a question that I've been asking myself more and more recently. The answer that I tell myself is simple -- they're really cool. I enjoy the action and the mythology that accompanies each character. Right now, they're the most popular thing in pop culture. When I was growing up, that wasn't necessarily the case. Everyone knew most of their origins, but couldn't tell you that The Venom Symbiote originated from 1984 Marvel Crossover Event Secret Wars. Now, I bet that would be considered a novice question on trivia night.
Or maybe I am just a tad obsessive when it comes to things I enjoy. No matter, let's examine why superheroes have rocketed passed the Moons of Jupiter and are currently devouring every aspect of our life. Let's take a look at why we even care about these fictional characters that we spend most of our free time arguing about. That people, like ourselves; write all the things that we pined for. Years and years we spend waiting to see that Big Purple Guy wipe away half the superheroes that are just about to fight each other in May. Why?
This is not an article to judge one another for wanting to dress-up in superhero attire. I dressed like Lord Voldemort at the release of the last Harry Potter book. I was too excited to care what I looked like. Obviously I was on the hunt to scare some Hermiones or Rons; there was no way I was going against Harry. I knew he was a Horcrux and that would be the last one; even before the final book (I'm sweet like that). Sadly, I've never dressed up like that ever again.
What fascinates me is how revered these characters are becoming in pop culture. If you asked a little kid why they love superheroes -- the response you will get; they stimulate a part of their imagination that otherwise would lie dormant. I mean you wouldn't get exactly those words. I picture a little kid saying 'Because Hulk SMASH!' Is that the same reason why us adults love the spandex warriors? Do we find life boring and the only way to fill that gaping-hole is with escapism; to dream about being bitten by a radioactive spider and not getting some sort of weird cancer? Wait, I don't think I worded that properly. There's no way that we spend this amount of time on something just because we think it's cool. There has to be more to this story, that we wait all-year-long for a handful of movies and then do it all over again the next year. That's Einstein's theory of insanity. Well, maybe not.
See I have a dream that Lebron James will dress-up as Bronn and I'll go as Tyrion Lannister to Comic-Con (wigs and all) with him. He'll carry me in one of those kangaroo pouches, while we drink wine out of chalices. I'm pretty sure this is normal behavior for us fangirls/boys. Right?
Let's take a look at the the three main reasons to what I contribute to our love of these fascinating fictional characters:
You see something in them, that you want to be like
I love Captain America because I oftentimes see more of myself in Tony. Steve Rogers gives me something to strive for. There's nothing wrong with Tony, but it's hard being that snarky if you're not whatever they called him in The Avengers. This is only natural to want to emulate someone you admire. I think this is partly responsible for the backlash to the ending for Man of Steel. None of us wanted to see one of our favorite heroes kill somebody (well, not Superman). Even though he had to kill Zod. My favorite hero is Spider-Man, because no matter the situation he's in -- he'll do the right thing. I love Jessica Drew, Miles Morales, Gwen Stacy, and Cindy Moon; all because they follow Parker's example of what it is to be a hero.
They give you sense of camaraderie with other people
I was at the supermarket last week and I got in an argument with this kid. Picture that little guy that beat-up Katt Williams yesterday. I was wearing a Miles Morales t-shirt and he said to me that he wasn't Spider-Man. So, I calmly explained to him how he truly is Spidey and then he kicked me in my shins -- I know, so cliche. The fact of the matter; I would never have talked to this kid in a million years if he didn't say something about my shirt. We're social animals that need to be around others. A lot of people have a difficult time making friends. This is a nice conduit in a conversation that helps you to think that the person you're talking to could possibly be something more than just an acquaintance. I've defended Batman, so many times against 'he's just a man' argument, that I now just say Aquaman is the best. There's also someone on this website, that comments on some of my posts. I look forward to hearing from him, because of his enthusiasm and he offers advice when I leave something out. I never would have talked to him without our mutual love of comic books!
We're addicted to the story
This is the category that I would place myself in fo' shizzle. I am enamored with The Flash to the point that my dreams are writing fan fiction. I must know every plot thread, every character's motivation, will Barry and Iris finally hook-up? I love great storytelling, so much so that I recently received a nice amount of money to write my own comic. It's exhilarating coming up with cliffhangers, new characters, powers, and everything that encompasses your passion. I started writing on this website because I can't remember anything from college and I wanted to practice the craft.
I remember the first time I saw Spider-Man: The Animated Series, but everything else is a blur (it was a busy time, shame on you for thinking anything else). We have to know what's going to happen to our favorite characters; will the writers be audacious enough to kill them off? This is what makes us the fans that we are and we love every bit of the current trend in Hollywood right now.
There are so many more reasons on why we love superheroes, but I just thought I write the top three biggest ones in my opinion. What inspired me to write this piece, I was recently I was talking to these three older gentlemen; who believed I was zanier than the X-Men's continuity in the films for loving superheroes. I did what any rational person would do given the situation: I started playing DJ Khaled's 'We Takin' Over' and showed them how much money there are in superheroes. They thought I was a douche and with good reason. Remember what I said earlier about wanting to be more like Cap than Tony.
For whatever reasons that you love superheroes, just know that is truly the only reason that matters.