By Travis Trombley - originally published on our new site: HeroMonitor.org
Per the premise of a coming-of-age adventure story, Dan first experienced superheroes by way of discovering his dad’s old collection tucked away in the attic of his childhood home. While as a nine year-old, Dan didn’t read so much as gawk at the illustrations, it was enough to spark a conversation with his father, who - Dan says - later fueled his addiction by taking the pre-beard Dan to comic book stores to spend his allowance on new books.
As he aged, Dan’s tastes broadened. He grew more attentive to narrative. Before long he’d purchased many of the “Marvel Essentials” books in order to read up on his favorite characters: Iron Man, Ant Man and Hulk. When he wasn’t watching the Saturday morning adventures of Batman and Superman on their respective WB animated shows, he was reading, and it was all adding up.
“Even as an adult, now, I feel like superheroes have shaped my sense of morality,” Dan said. “You read all these stories about these heroes with godlike abilities, who could do what they want, but they abide by man’s laws - don’t kill or steal or abuse their powers - and it makes you realize that we all have this moral obligation to be good to one another - to use what we have to help others. I feel like I’m a good person because I try to live by that, whether it’s a friend needing help with a move or assisting someone in danger, and I got that mentality from superheroes.”
It’s an easy pill to swallow. Dan acknowledges the premise to the superhero is in many ways the imperative to do good unto others, which fits well within a prevalently Judeo-Christian framework. It makes sense that such beings could quickly ascend to the position of ideological paragons.
But there’s more to the superhero mythos than just helping people. Dan said that as he matured and became cognizant of life’s nuances, he gleaned more complicated insights about the world and his perception thereof from his caped crusaders.
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