by Gray Graham
With the new Batman vs Superman movie coming out, the modern age question of why so many of this generation can not comprehend Superman is probably clearer than ever.
This is actually one of those deep questions that has always been debated on the internet, who is cooler Batman or Superman with an honorable mention going towards Spider-Man, Captain America, the Incredible Hulk, and of course Wonder Woman.
When it comes to fans of superheroes I will put them into two categories; those that read comic books and those that only know them from movies and TV shows. Now we can break the first one down further into those that read comics as a child and those that read comics as an adult.
In order to fully grasp why some people can't grasp Superman we have to first look at his history. Originally Superman was pretty much the same as other characters of his era, a tough no nonsense vigilante that put people in their place. As time went on however, we get his origin and he develops into the character we all know today.
The story of Superman is basically the story of Moses or Jesus depending on which Abraham religion you follow. His father sends his son to Earth to help save and protect the people. Stop me if you have heard this before. He is raised by a loving Christian family in Kansas and never uses his powers for personal gain not even to protect himself when he is tormented as a child growing up.
Now depending on how old you are the story can vary quite a bit from a tough news reporter, to a loveable goofball nerd that is always being passed over by the best girl. One thing that remains and is the core of the character; is that he stands for truth, justice, and the American way.
In 2016 those values and concepts are nebulous at best and inconceivable by most. People no longer believe in truth or justice and they definitely don't believe in the American way. The idea that a person with the power of a god would walk among humans and not try to rule them is just not believable to a lot of people.
This was explored in the comics in the character of Lex Luthor, Superman's longtime villain. Luthor went from being a mad scientist to billionaire businessman. It is not so much that he is evil but he just is afraid and therefore doesn't trust Superman and neither does much of the world especially the American government.
We as a society very much believe that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Most of us know that if we had Superman's power we would try to change things forcibly, not try to inspire people to be better. The kicker is that Superman doesn't even have a dark past or skelton's in his closet. He is just a good man trying to help the world be a better place.
Sadly people just don't have that much faith in anyone. We have become a culture that believes everyone is dark and evil. People now celebrate psychopaths, demons, and the Devil. Just look at the top movies and shows to see how dark and lost our favorite characters are today.
Someone once told me that who could like Superman. He is too perfect. It is like cheering for Jesus. Batman on the other hand people can relate. He is the richest man in the world. He buys a lot of cool toys. He gets all of the pretty women. He beats people up. The police can't stop him. He is also probably clinically insane. This is someone that this generation can cheer and get behind. He is anti-American.
Marvel has taken what people like about Batman and put it into their characters of Captain America who is an icon himself and Iron Man who is what Bruce Wayne pretends to be. I think people like Cap more because while he has the exact same values as Superman he still is just a human being albeit one with a physical perfect body even though he started off as a 80 pound weakling.
In the big picture Superman is still the world's favorite superhero. He is an icon, a legend, and a symbol for what we all can be. These things go in cycles so I am sure in time Superman will once again be the guy everyone will cheer but right Superman is beyond the dreams and aspirations of our society.