Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mythic Heroes

For me, it's either Batman or Superman.  I grew up with Superman.  I had the blue pajamas, with a velcro-attached cape in which I would patrol the house as it's protector.  As I've grown, I've gotten more into Batman and his constant, near-inhuman vigilance and cunning.  I've always respected these two among all other fictional characters because of what the teach us about who we are, and what we could be.  Superman is appealing to the masses superficially because of his otherworldly talents.  His true greatness lies buried deeper, in his simple and wholly altruistic view of our planet.  With ease he could destroy us all, leaving only a barren rock in his wake.  Yet without fail he chooses to champion our ideals more passionately than the best human being ever could. 

Batman, lends a sharper edge to the flip-side of the same coin.  He fights what always seems to be a losing battle against repeat offenders of horrendous atrocities, but always stays true to his code.  Batman has watched the Joker repeatedly kill, or maim the citizens of Gotham, including those closest to him, yet he refuses to end the life of the Joker or any of his enemies regardless of their crimes.  In a more recent Batman story arc former Robin-Jason Todd was reanimated and assumed the alias "Red Hood."  Red Hood strikes out at Gotham's criminal element murdering them left and right in an attempt to show Batman how his job should be carried out.  At one point Red Hood captures the Joker (who had originally killed him) and beats him within an inch of his life.  This becomes the most poignant moment in the comic as Red Hood pleads with Batman to kill the Joker once and for all.  Batman simply states: "It would be too easy."