SUPERHEROES IN EXTINCTION

“Dad, why do people believe the story of superheroes?”

“Well, in a way they are a reflection of what many of us would like to be or what we would like to see: that someone who is gifted saves us from danger.”

“And why do we have to tell ourselves those lies?”

“I suppose it's because sometimes we need others more capable than us.”

“The superheroes are a deception and every day we have more.”

“Well, the truth is that before there were three or four who were the best, those who could defeat all the villains and protect the Earth from great calamities. Now, one goes out every week or they get together with others to form Justice Leagues or groups of Avenger.”

“Don’t you think that in itself is already an indication of how weak they are?”

“Good heavens, son! I had not thought about it that way, but it's true. A true superhero would be enough to kill all the enemies.”

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“So, why do we need them? Do we not have God?”

“Of course, but there are earthly issues that require earthly actions, that's why we need them, because we feel helpless before the unknown and that's why all cultures have had their heroes. Some are mythological, others come from legends. They come in many shapes and forms, from gods and demigods, to warriors and magical beings, but all have basically fulfilled the same role: protect men from dark forces, evil plans, monsters or enemies.”

“And what role do they play now?”

“To save us from modern dangers.”

“That's why they changed their look ...”

“Yes, they go with fashion.”

“Tell me one thing, dad: Who will believe in a Superman who previously wore a cotton jumpsuit and now looks like a model stuffed in Spandex?”

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“Hahaha. All have to adapt, son. Keep in mind that many of today's superheroes were born with the Great Depression and were a reflection of their time. In those years, the gringos were so beaten that they needed their own saviors and their creators used them as a way to raise the morale of the people.”

“And since then we have superheroes gringos?”

“The gringos did not invent the superheroes, but relied on others to create new ones.”

“So they are not even originals?”

“Practically not. Modern superheroes took the faculties and powers primarily from the gods and characters of Greco-Roman mythology. They copied many features and added some changes. Some were dressed in the colors of the American flag, others were given a mask and winged sandals, others had to go through tough tests in the style of Hercules.”

“So there is no genuine one.”

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“I'm afraid not. The heroes are repeated: they are usually children of a God or a king - almost always the product of a forbidden relationship - they are descendants of a chosen tribe or suffer a tragedy that forces them to overcome great challenges. You see this in some biblical passages and ancient legends where the same element of the child - future hero - is repeated, which, being marked by these characteristics, is abandoned at birth.”

“How is that?”

“The future heroes are abandoned either to save them from a tyranny or to prevent them from killing a king who, often, is their own father. Ultimately, it is a way to strengthen their character.”

“You said it, they are myths and legends.”

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“They have something in common. Look no further in the stories of Moses, Perseus, Karna, Romulus and Remus or Sargon the Great. All of them were thrown into the water when they were babies.”

“Superman’s parents sent him in a capsule when he was a baby.”

“You see? Is the same. In that case he was sent to Earth to save him from the destruction of his planet. Heroes come to this world in difficult circumstances. Without going any further, Superman is a mirror of Jesus. His parents did not let go of him to save him, but they did have to take him to a new land so that the boy could fulfill his mission.”

“But there are exceptions. Thor is Thor and is still a Nordic god, only he now speaks English.”

“Well, Thor and Hercules, who now also speaks English, are practically the same hero.”

“I could say the same about Batman, Spiderman or Hulk. Although they are human, they repeat the traumas or tests of many others.”

 FOTO: SERGE KUTUZOV

FOTO: SERGE KUTUZOV

“In part, yes. They are solitary heroes, they are orphans and they have superpowers. Bruce Wayne has a lot of money, while Peter Parker or Bruce Banner received special gifts because of a scientific accident. Perhaps Bruce Wayne is the only one of the three who developed his powers through rigorous training.”

“In any case, I do not believe any of them. What they are is a commercial invention, a bunch of dolls that are not even genuine. Just as the heroes of the past were born with powers or were granted to them by extraordinary means, so their modern copies repeat the same formula. Even mutants, metahumans or those who are half machine and half human are the product of a genius, a military experiment, radioactive exposure or genetic modifications. They are all a lie.”

“Don't forget, son, that there are some that are pure human creations. I mean the super soldiers. Armors and exoskeletons are a reality. Their powers are of this world.”

“They will be the only ones to whom I believe.”

“They could be the flesh and iron heroes of the future.”

“Maybe. Anyway, I think that superheroes as we know them are destined to disappear.”

“Do you really believe it?”

“Completely. There is so much saturation that they will become outdated. Even the Comic-Cons are going to be obsolete for the same nerds. Over time they will look like stamp collector events. A few will be interested in something antiquated.”

“For now it is not like that. There are many people who identify with the characters in the comics. They dress like they do, act like them and even feel like them.”

“They look ridiculous. They will go out of style.”

“I'm not sure. The idea of uperior beings and superheroes is deeply rooted in the human psyche.”

“Humanity evolves, dad. Before, for example, people believed in a source of eternal youth, in a physical source, a special place. Today many of us know that "eternal youth" can be achieved with scientific and artificial methods. Just as men have left behind beliefs and superstitions, so they will stop believing in superheroes.”

“Surely everything will change, even the characters, some will disappear, but others will come. Humanity will have so many problems that if superheroes are missing, people will create new ones or others will come from old fables and legends. We will have African heroines, Irish wizards and Mesopotamian, Asian or robotic warriors. The list is endless.”

“What I think is that while the heroes do not belong to reality, those who believe in them will continue to live a fantasy. There will be many types of new fantasies, but more advanced people will seek deeper and more authentic experiences.”

“And don’t you think that an extraordinary being can exist? What if a powerful person come from another planet or that humans can mutate?”

“I do not see how a human could identify with something that is not like us.”

“Keep in mind that people identify with superheroes because they have a lot of humans. They are vulnerable like us.”

“They are still a projection to satisfy a fictitious alter ego, deformed and irrational.”

 FOTO: JOEY NICOTRA

FOTO: JOEY NICOTRA

“And that does not make them human?”

“Excuse me to say it, dad, but they are bullshit. We realize that they have their weaknesses, that they can be destroyed and we suffer for a while thinking that they can be defeated, but we want them to always win, and they always win.”

“And don’t you want them to win?”

“If I see them defeating real bad guys, I will believe them. It would seem that the enemies they face are the most evil in the Universe, but they are pathetic. Some villains have a superior intelligence or a very sophisticated criminal minds, they even have the secret weapon or the counterweight that neutralizes the superheroes, but they are all stupid.”

“Why you say that?”

“Because frankly they are amateurs. They fail in the most ridiculous things, many times when the superhero is completely defeated.”

“Son, have you thought that, just as superheroes have an Achilles heel, for us death is our Kryptonite? That's why we want them to win, because they are our only chance to win while we are alive. If not, we would be very fucked up.”

“We already are, with or without superheroes. That's why I prefer to find true heroes.”