A World Without Heroes

I’m glad there are no real “superheroes” in our world that we know of. I am glad Superman, Spiderman, The Avengers, X-Men and all those types exist only in our imagination, comic books, movies, TV and the odd cosplay event. Yes, I said it, scandalous I know.


You want to know why? Well, think about it. As much as I love watching a good action flick, as much as I cheer when giant robots throw down in Manhattan, I can’t help but cringe, deep down. I mean, the collateral damage by these big fights, the numbers are staggering. I can’t begin to count the human loss, the financial loss, the all around fallout of the aftermath. It’s immense, isn’t it? Cities are leveled, people die, man, they die! There’s no way that during a city fight between the Autobots and the Decepticons can end with no civilian casualties. We don’t see it, but it’s got to be there.

When The Hulk goes rampaging and buildings crumble and debris falls… there’s going to be injuries. You can’t tell me they evacuate NYC or LA or wherever every time so hero and villain do their dance. Maybe I am throwing too much realism into what is essentially escapist fantasy… but it was my older son who really made me think about it. We were watching the latest Transformers movies when he brought it to my attention.

Transformer Fight

“Mommy, there’s a lot of damage isn’t there? I think it’s sad the people are losing everything here.” He said in a rare burst of wise empathy. (A short while later he and his brother were rolling around on the floor trying to poke each other into submission.) It made me think about it. It’s easy to ignore that side of the story when there are fireballs flying and witty one liners quipping around.

I picture how the aftermath goes. The heroes fly into the sunset, the villains defeated. Crawling from the wreckage come us little normal people. The town is a mess, cars are flipped over, you have no idea where Uncle Bob is, and maybe he’s under what’s left of the office building that got ripped into by laser beams, or bombs, or a big green man. Busted fire hydrants are spewing water all over the place. Emergency response is shuffling to get to the injured civilians.

Then the heroes come back, they help clean up the town and rebuild the city. They visit the injured and survivors and their families. They rescue cats from trees. And we all cheer them. Thank you for ridding us of the big evil robots/mutants/demi-gods or whatever. Yes, they provided a valuable service and all is well… until next week when a new threat comes to town, and it starts all over again.

911 Rubble

Yes, I am glad I live in a mundane world. That’s not to say it’s perfect, far from it, but I am glad that we don’t have the added worry or interplanetary/mutant/demonic badness to worry about and the damages that a hero will incur in the clean up attempt. I’ll keep my heroes in my imagination.


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