Can Superheroes Guide Us Through These Tough Times? I Think So…

Tough Times Superman
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We are in tough times. I’ve sat back and watched a lot of things in my life.

  • The destruction of innocents for black gold
  • The Rwandan Genocide
  • Columbine and many other reprehensible acts
  • The Fall of the World Trade Towers

After each one, I ask:

  • Who would do this?
  • Why would they do this?
  • How could they do this?

Often, I can’t come up with an answer worthy enough to share.

We live in tough times.

There is unrest in America, Europe, North Korea, and so many other places. National frustrations are rising, tensions are growing, and the future is more uncertain than it has ever been in my short lifetime. Worse yet, it shows no signs of stopping.

I am Canadian and for this, I feel blessed. I can leave my door unlocked, walk my streets, and do what I want to do. And I wake up and go to sleep each day knowing who I am and how proud I am to be so. As a Canadian, I know exactly where my country stands on the world’s stage.

Although there is unrest among my people, we stand united.

I worry about my neighbors to the south. The last 18 months have been filled with angst, fear, hatred, and divide. People are refusing to stand for the anthem, there’s violence in the streets, political divide, and more issues at the forefront than I have ever seen.

It is now that the world must unite. This generation must fix itself so that the next generation has a fighting chance at a life worth living. There will be no tomorrow if we don’t fix today.

What does the future hold?

As children watch their families be torn apart, their loved ones brutalized, and the American Dream slowly die, they must be reminded that it wasn’t always this way. They must know that there are heroes left in the world who epitomize exactly what it means to be and do good. Truth, justice, and honor. They still exist.

If it seems strange to you that I ask you to look to superheroes, understand this. It is within their pages, their stories, and their tales that the answers to the world’s problems lie. Yes, they can help solve the tough times we find ourselves in. 

As recent as a couple of years ago, a Batman story targeted police brutality against those of color. In it depicts Peter Duggio, a man of color, recently shot and left to die by Ned Howler, a white police officer. Never in Batman’s 75-year history has the Dark Knight addressed this sort of issue. The issue digs into the stomach of who Batman is and what he stands for.

Superman has faced more prejudice, fear and hatred than any other character in existence. He is different and we as humans don’t like different. Yet, he remains strong. He remains steadfast in his commitment to his cause and committed to his dream of a world filled with truth, justice, and freedom.

Even Captain America turned down Presidency because he understands that he is the symbol of hope and freedom and couldn’t affiliate himself as a political leader. He knew that the entire country looks up to him and did not want to be the source of the divide.

And yes, Yankee f*cking Poodle always finds a way.

In comics, the villain may win the battle but the hero always wins the war.

And why?

The answer is so simple that you may not believe me. Plainly put, heroes always come out on top.

Heroes find a way to overcome adversity and rise above the odds. They look for the greater good in any situation and don’t let their minds become poisoned by the bad. And more than any of these, they don’t let the world tell that the morals and values they hold to heart are false.

Without fear of sounding repetitive, heroes find a way…always.

And they don’t do it alone.

In times of uncertainty such as these, we must not divide. Like the way in which superheroes counteract tough times, we must unite. I recount the lesson we are taught at a young age. The sum of the whole is always greater than its parts. Comics teach us this.

I encourage you to remember this:

  • The Avengers are greater as a team than Captain America as an individual.
  • The Justice League is greater than Superman and Wonder Woman.
  • And yes, a pack of dogs is greater than Yankee Poodle.

We can be too.

Or at least for the sake of the next generation, we can be too.

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