Superhero Characters: Superman And Perseus As A Modern Hero

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I agree with Michael Uslan where he argues that superhero characters are a modern mythology. Although science can help explain the background of the superheroes powers, superheroes are usually regarded as a Saviour rather than a science experiment. Since superheroes are much more unrealistic, it tends towards being a mythology instead. Past mythology has iconic stories such as David and Goliath, the labours of Hercules, and the story of Moses. There are also counterparts which can be found in modern day comic books adventure. From Batman fighting crime in Gotham city to Superman keeping the peace in Metropolis, we find ourselves drawn to the idea of heroes overcoming the odds and prevailing in the end in their story. The theme of having a…show more content…
Superheroes usually have a bad childhood, where they would persevere through adventures and eventually become stronger to protect the people. We can draw parallels from Greek mythology where we have the story of Perseus. Perseus is a prototypical hero quester of classical literature which we can compare to Superman which is also the prototypical hero quester of the superhero age. Superman and Perseus were both orphaned shortly after birth, where after reaching maturity, both sets out on a journey to find their purpose in adulthood. For Superman, it is how he realises his identity and purpose on Earth before he takes on his mantle on Earth as Superman. Both Superman and Perseus are model heroes, with noble values which are not too complex. Their enemies are always on the side of evil where their actions rendered them inhuman, and the heroes always fought for the side of the good. By comparing both stories, they are similar with identical themes which can make superheroes our modern…show more content…
But the most prominent example of them all, is the prototypical superhero, Superman. Superman could be described as an amalgam of every great and powerful warrior as one. His co-creator Jerry Siegel states that ‘’ in creating Superman, he wanted to conceive a character like Samson, Hercules, and all the strongmen I have ever heard of…’’. (Smith)(Chapter 15, Section 1 Jerry Siegel quoted 1934) Superman is often compared to a variety of mythological figures, most notably with his Messiah like characteristics, which resembles images of Christ. Stephen Skelton mentioned in his book, The Gospel According to the World’s Greatest Superhero, where he writes that Superman’s story goes something like this ‘’ From above, a heavenly father sends his only son to Earth, at age 30, Superman will embark on his public mission”, which is the same age of Christ as he explains. ‘’Superman will, in his mission as ministry, fight for Truth and Justice’’. (Skelton) Superman also teaches people the fundamental biblical principles as outlined by Skelton and in his storyline, he dies and is eventually resurrected. Superman holds a strong resemblance to religious figures where in Michael Uslan interview with Jeff McLaughlin he draws the similarity in the origin stories of both Moses and Superman on how they both became heroes

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