Turn on the news, and you’ll find frightening reports of big problems in our world: war, disease, climate change. It’s likely you’ll feel powerless.
But in the imaginary world of movies, the entire planet can be rescued by just one superhero. Wonder Woman can bring a war to an end by killing a god. And the Avengers can travel through time to save half the universe.
That’s probably one of the reasons the world loves superheroes. Last year, fans spent more than $6 billion to watch their favorite superheroes at the movie theater. And it’s understandable, right? As you eat your popcorn, you escape from reality and enter a fantasy world—where good always triumphs over evil.
But that’s not the only reason superheroes are so popular. Our favorites reflect who we want to be. When we watch Clark Kent transform into Superman, we are reminded that ordinary people can achieve great things. When we see T’Challa fight for his throne in Black Panther, we feel brave. We believe it’s possible to make a difference in our school or stand up for someone who is being bullied.
In other words, these characters inspire us to be our best selves and make us want to do what’s right—even if we get nothing in return.
So with that in mind, let’s pretend that the president of DC Comics just contacted you. He asks you to create a new superhero. Who will that superhero be? What will he or she fight against?
Your answers to those questions might tell you as much about yourself as they do about your superhero.