More than say non-superhero comics like fiction? Or non-fiction? Horror? Science fiction? Comedy? Other genre's?

I guess I am trying to understand why is the superhero genre so appealing, more than other genre's in comics, especially when I see so many comics with good reviews from the press but they seem to get so little attention from those who love to talk about comics.


But I haven't read that much superhero comics anyways.

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  • Author, Greg Garret, answers this fundamental question, in his excellent book,Holy Superheroes: Exploring Faith And Spirituality In Comic Books [Paperback]
    This book is a must read, IMO , for any Christian comic creators, and treats the subject with dignity and respect, something you don't often find when secular authors tackle spiritual subject matter. Of course, I'm making an assumption about the author's faith, nevertheless, the book is an excellent read, and sold very inexpensively on Amazon.

    To answer the question, about the superhero attraction, I believe that since we are ALL made in God's image, we must somehow sense, on a soulish, spiritual level, that we were created to be more than we are. We " know" on some level that we are and can be so much more. This is a major theme that runs throughout most of CS Lewis' writings, and when we come to a saving knowledge of Christ, and who we are in relationship to HIM, then all the pieces fit together.
  • Hey, David....great question. I'm jumping in on this trend pretty late, but here I come.

    The best way to answer your question is with a call to action....if you haven't read it, read it.
    (Book: Wild At Heart by John Eldredge). This may not seem like the answer you're looking for, but
    once you read it, a profound answer will occur in your heart, as to why super-heroes appeal to so many of us.

    Now, to answer as to why the super-hero genre appeals to me:

    Being a super-hero creator, this again, may be a different view point than what you're looking for but may be of good insight from the other side of the mask. The Word of God is Power, so we create Super-Heroes from that power....all from the heart of Jesus Christ. Comics is just one aspect of super-heroes....what we gear towards is from Jesus being the Word that came we bring to life our super-heroes as theatrical mascots, if you will. What appeals to me most, is when a kid or anyone runs up to Captain Salvation® and smiles and gives him a big hug. It appeals to me because we are able to teach what it means to raise ACTIVATED Super-Hero Children and how to be a Super-Hero Parent....that appeals to me, and most appealing to me when through our ACTIVATING messages that chains are loose, bondage's are broken and the slaves set free....personally because it's a rewarding mission of: "Harvesting Souls...Through God's Super-Heroes!"

    Last and not least, God's thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are higher than ours. Let's all consider Matthew 11:1-12, "And from the days of John The Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force." This isn't justifying an extreme view point of violence, because I will agree with that we are to be loving people, etc...but read Matthew 10:34, Jesus himself states, "Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword." The only justification is that pastors/leaders in our past have instilled into us a "Peace and Love" message to "tickle our ears".....Captain Salvation® doesn't have the blood and violence, but it does have action and battle, simply because we choose to meet the needs of the majority as a missions outreach "Super-Hero Resource". However, the truth is found in the Word of God, it is not contradictory, we are.

    Haha, I felt that too....I'll start preaching now....we have been taught to repent and turn the other direction...this is not the meaning of "repent". To repent is first to renew your mind, then turn the other direction, and what has happened in America is that our ears have been tickled. When we turn the other direction without renewing our minds, this creates legalism. I'l stop sermon will be available on iTunes...haha, just kidding.

    Everyone on this trend is bringing good view points and comments, my fun answer is this...I'm a big kids for Jesus! Haha....there is no better form to fulfill the Great Commission than with Media and Super-Heroes. Overseas, you'd be surprised how many people have no idea what a super-hero is, but when they do learn.....they become ACTIVATED for Jesus Christ and they are equipped and trained how to ACTIVATE others in the knowledge of Jesus Christ as knowing Him as their personal Lord and Savior. You notice I CAPS ACTIVATE every time, that's because there is an acronym for it. I hope this helps or the least entertaining and ACTIVATING..... I'll just back in soon, look forward to everyone's comments to continue this Discussion.

    Thanks, David for starting this trend. --"Quick, the HOLY ROLLER!"

    --Joshua K. Carpenter
    Co-Founder, Salvation Heroes
  • The superhero genre appeals to me because its half for the fun of it and the other half is becaus our lord and others like samson gives the appeal to superheroes and growing up with them as well. Superheroes are also based heavily on ancient myths then also the non superpowered heroes like batman with more human and darker elements inspires us to stay close to the superhero gnere.
  • This is an essay i wrote severaal years ago on a very related topic.

    For quite some time I have been thinking about why the super-hero idea has been such a popular and enduring one. I believe one reason is that the super-hero concept is a glimpse of the Christian believers’ eternal weight of glory (II Cor 4:17).

    Basic Biblical theology teaches the concept of justification, sanctification and glorification.

    Justification has to do with our right standing before God. Sanctification has to do with the present process we are going through in this life (as born again Christians) to conform us to Christ’s image. Glorification has to do with the resurrection body that we will have in the future.

    What will our glorified body be like?

    Our glorified body will be like Christ’s resurrection body (Phil 3:20, 21; I John 3:2). This body will be one of flesh and bones (Luke 24:39) not flesh and blood (I Cor. 15:50, 51). This glorified body is incorruptible-does not decay (1 Cor 15:42) and is immortal (I Cor 15:52-54). It is a glorious body (I Cor 15:43a). It is powerful and does not get tired (I Cor 15:43b). The resurrection body will be heavenly (I Cor 15:47-49). The resurrection body will be luminous, shining, dazzling, bright like the sun (Matt 13:43, Dan, 12:3; Luke 9:29). The believers in their resurrection bodies will reign with Christ during the millennium (Rev. 20:4, 6).

    Our resurrection bodies will be like the angels who do not marry nor do they die (Matt, 22:30; Luke 20:35, 36). Since these bodies are like the angels they possess great strength. An angel rolled away the great stone that blocked the entrance to Jesus’ tomb (Matt 28:2). Angels are so startling that powerful soldiers faint from fright at the sight of them (Matt 28: 4). Angels slayed the mightiest of human warriors (2 Kings 19:35, II Chron 32:21). Angels are the executioners of God’s wrath (Matt. 13:39-42, 47-50), but the believer in his resurrection body will judge angels (I Cor. 6:3).

    Since these bodies are like Christ’s resurrection body they will be able to do the same things he does. Jesus could materialize behind locked doors (John 20:12, 26, Luke 24:36). Jesus ascended into heaven in Hi own body (Mark 16:19, Acts 1:9-11). Jesus could vanish from the sight of man (Luke 24:31), as did the angel of the Lord (Judges 6:21).

    In summary it would seem that our own resurrection bodies will have “power” of flight, re and dematerialization, great strength, limitless endurance, awesome and frightening brightness, authoritative judgment, ageless immortality, absolute sinless perfection (I Cor 1:8);

    Could it be that the super-hero notion in some imperfect and earthly way reflects the glorious image of Christ’s own resurrected body and the believer’s future estate?

    (Reprinted from Alpha-Omega #110, 2003)
  • Ouch, that's unfortunate! Regardless of what the power/ability is and how much action's involved, it always comes down to the human element/struggles to me. Too bad in many mainstream comics it's the action and half-nakedness that's so prevalent...But the bright side is, we as Christians have the ability (no pun intended, lol) to change that!

    Buzz Dixon said:
    Justin Martin said:
    This is a great question! For me, I what makes superhero comics so appealing is the idea of having an ability that, if used for good, can significantly improve the lives of others. To me it's less about having a villain to fight, and more about the question: "If you knew you were able to make a significant impact in the world, would you? If so, how?"
    When I was working at Stan Lee Media lo these many moons ago, back when dot-coms roamed the land like buffalo, we had a discussion very similar to what you posit.
    Basically, let's give a character a very run of the mill (well, at least for superheroes!) power: The ability to fly. No super fast, not even superhigh. Maybe 500 ft. in the air, 50 mph tops; she can hover and carry up to her own weight as cargo (tho no as high or as fast).

    What would she do? It seems kind of a waste to put on brightly colored tights and wait around for somebody to commit a crime.

    She could be an EMS personnel, able to get first response to people in isolate, hard-to-reach spots.

    She could transport medical supplies with greater ease and ability than a helicopter (at least over short distances). She could work for the fire department or the Coast Guard or any of a number of other agencies.

    (Needless to say, these ideas didn't go over well; they were more interested in brightly colored naked people who hit each other.)
  • This is a great question! For me, I what makes superhero comics so appealing is the idea of having an ability that, if used for good, can significantly improve the lives of others. To me it's less about having a villain to fight, and more about the question: "If you knew you were able to make a significant impact in the world, would you? If so, how?"
  • I'm with R Jay and Steve... Suspension of disbelief, and good heaven's they're fun!

    I mean, who doesn't wish they could be Batman? Or if not Batman, then his school boy sidekick Robin? Or wishes they could shoot laser beams out of their eyes, make icicles of their sisters or have claws pop out of their hands? Some of it's such silly nonsense, but it's oh so cool to look at.

    I think some of the "hero stuff" has started to take itself waaaaaaaaaaay too seriously - and has become dark, twisted, bleak, and ugly - and no longer fun. (Thanks Messieurs Moore and Miller! I love your stuff, (at least one of you) but the legacy left behind that the comic industry has yet to recuperate from...sigh.)

    Anyway - it really boils down to: COOL! I wish I could do that!
  • I don't like to read too much into this. I think it's just because "super hero" comics are FUN to read.
    When a comic book is fun, I keep reading it. If the writer or artist offends me or my values, I stop buying it. My favorites were the Marvels of the 60s and 70s.
    Why did we like to watch John Wayne or the Lone Ranger? Because we want to see the good guy win. We want to see good triumph over evil. It doesn't always happen in the real world, so it's nice that our heroes are a little more powerful in fantasy.
  • I think the "need" to have Heroes is ingrained into our DNA...kind of linked to our "need" to worship. Look at our revolves around the following (worshipping) of heroes...of comics, movies, TV, sports, power-brokers and religion.

    For me trying to explain that attraction, is kind of like explaining love. It just is.
  • I actually don't read a lot of Super Hero comics. The convolution of them really gets to me. I'm a huge fan of Superman, but I've only just started reading Superman in the floppies.

    I became a Superman fan because of Christopher Reeve, and Dean Cain. I guess what I like so much about Superman is he is a hero that helps out the little guy, the forgotten, orphans, little old ladies etc. He appeals to me as a Christ figure, an absolute good, and a character with unfathomable hope in the good in the human race. He is at once one of us, and something completely different, something that transcends what is normally considered human. His appeal to me is of the incorruptible, the absolute good that so many people find preposterous. He is and always will be my favorite Superhero.

    That being said, I mostly read webcomics. The only two floppies I pick up are Sonic the Hedgehog and Superman. Sonic the Hedgehog is one of my favorite comics that is essentially about freedom, and fighting oppression, righting wrongs, and standing up for yourself. Sure, the characters are anthropomorphic, but the values imbued are the same. Plus, the little blue guy is cocky - I always liked heroes who are a little overconfident. It gives ample chance for them to learn things.
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