"As American civilization had fallen away from traditional religion, we are looking for powerful moral figures who are above us, who will come to rescue us when we need them. When Jimmy and Lois are saying "Where are you, Superman? We need your help!", are they not praying in the most essential sense of the word...?" John Woo.
The recent international success of Tim Kring's TV series has touched a deep chord in the human persona. Amidst all the futility and disappointments of everyday life, people are clearly aspiring to something more - wanting to see someone come along who can really act for the common good.
Like most kids, I was surrounded by comics (primarily of the DC variety until I was about 12), and whilst I enjoyed the fantastical stories and characters, I was always drawn back to the 'dark knight' commonly known as Batman. There was just something about this character's conviction that there was a need for real justice amidst the evils of the world (deliciously developed, I thought, in Christopher Nolan's 'Batman Begins').
In my teens and into my twenties, the 'hero' figure in my life was to take the form of one Captain James T Kirk, who certainly confirmed much of my passion to engage with the adventure of life, but to do so with integrity and determination.
Role models like this are important because they affirm certain truths about our reality, and the fact that we know that there is a great need for the values and qualities such characters emulate to increase and 'savour' the world.
In the sermon on the mount, the 'beatitudes' speaks of people who are blessed because they are looking beyond the futility to sow and foreshadow something more that will one day become the essential qualities of humanity. Real hero's are not people who leap tall buildings, but engage with life with the vision and purpose Jesus describes.
There's a great deal to ponder from the tales of hero's.
As written large at the end of Star Trek III:
"The Human Adventure is Just Beginning".