With the upcoming Captain America: Civil War movie on the horizon and the ever increasing popularity of the superhero story as genre itself – be it in films, shows, or their original comic book form – a question must arise: what if superheroes were living among us? Would they be a help for the end of wars across the world or would they, on the contrary, increased the tension and danger for simple humans like us? Would we actually feel protected by enhanced human beings ?
Yes, it can be said that superheroes have the primary intention of protecting everyone, whoever they may be. Yes, some may say that they are more capable of this job because of their amazing superpowers. And finally, yes, a lot are thinking that the world would be better if they were there. It’s sort of in the name. But surely no answer can be that simple. Isn’t there a bad side to every story? Is this really that black and white?
First, it has to be said a superhero is before everything else a normal person, a human being. They have their gloomy moments and their parts of darkness in their history, which has shaped as their own personalities. Let’s think of Captain America’s kindness, Flash’s generosity, Ant-Man’s humanity. But one cannot neglect Iron Man’s narcissism, The Hulk’s difficulty to control his anger and Green Arrow’s violent nature. Superheroes are flawed because humans are flawed. They sometimes make errors, which can be very similar in nature to the ones we all do. Well. Ish. We’ve all trusted the wrong people, but this doesn’t always have the unintended side effect of the person you trusted too easily being someone who turns out to want to enslave mankind. We all make mistakes with good intentions, though this doesn’t always end up in creating something way too powerful to control in the name of protection and peace – as seen in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Indeed trying to do better might be sometimes more harmful than what is already good. Therefore, even when trying to protect us, they might in fact harm us.
Plus, it can be forgotten that the existence of superheroes probably means that of villains, too; the two cannot be separated. In my opinion, we already have far too much bad guys around without them having any superpowers on top of it. I suppose if they were villains as well then superheroes would have a real important place because they would probably be the only ones suitable equipped to protect us. I would definitely be grateful for their existence at that point. However, we have to think about when superheroes are fighting in the middle of a city full of people? There’d be a lot of destruction; someone estimated that the damage to New York in the Avengers was something like $160 billion. And even when superheroes are not the very cause of this, they can’t help everyone single one of us. In this way, my opinion is that I will not really feel protected by them if every time a villain comes in town I have to worry that a building is going to collapse on me.
Finally, I think that the most important matter here is that the world cannot possibly be prepare to accept them, whether they are helping our safety or not, because way too many people would not approve of their existence because of their difference. Still today, we have so much trouble accepting all the people around us while we are in fact all human beings. Still today, too many people are rejected because of their differences. Don’t you think that would be the same for superheroes ?