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Superman really will save us: We are all superheroes!

If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you have at least a passing interest in superheroes. You’re not alone. Perhaps your interest in superheroes dates back to your youth, reading comic books or watching Saturday morning cartoons. Or maybe you watched a superhero movie or television show. In any case, there was something about superheroes—or a particular superhero— that piqued your interest and got you thinking or fantasizing. What is it about superheroes and their stories that captivates or intrigues us? Is it the underlying morality tales, the familiarity of the story arcs, the appealing characters, or the action? Different elements appeal to each individual. See whether any of the reasons I discuss below resonate with you.

A callback to youth

An adult experience with superheroes can remind us of our childhood: the ways that our imagination was so powerful that our fantasies seemed real. I think that superhero stories, particularly films that have good special effects, a good script, and well-acted characters, create a bridge between our childhood fantasies and our adult realism. Consider that children are more hypnotizable than adults, and can more readily and vividly go into their own world, shutting out external reality and creating a world limited only by their imagination. Live-action superhero stories allow us to recapture periods of our childhood when our imaginations were cranked up to the maximum—when we really believed we could fly or knock down the bad guy or save the city from disaster.

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