One source explained that movie superheroes were “the Greek gods of secular modern life.” I’m not sure what that means, but it sounds very profound. Another declared they were the descendants of cowboy movies in the ’50s and ’60s, “taking over that same black hat, white hat myth-making surface.”
Some of the theories expounded that stories about people who could leap tall buildings at a single bound provided comfort and reassurance to the public in times fraught with peril. The original comic book Superman was created by two Jewish kids in the ’30s when the Nazis started goose-stepping in Germany, one noted, providing “a metaphor for the immigrant Jewish experience.” Another authority hypothesized that “Captain America: The First Avenger,” helped people cope with a post 9/11 world “that was once again divided into good and evil, but was still morally complicated, flawed and vulnerable.”
Those theories may be true, I suppose, but they’re way too deep for me. I’m still trying to figure out why, when the bad guy fires a gun at him, Superman can just stand there and smile while the bullets bounce harmlessly off his chest of steel – but when the bad guy runs out of ammunition and throws his gun at him, Supey, has to duck.