In the last century, our fictional heroes were men and women who stood with their nobility and strength against evil. Cowboys, soldiers, doctors and lawyers all fought the good fight for justice.
And these were not our heroes because we were good. No, we aspired to be as good as these fictional people and we admired their goodness, despite our shortcomings.
Look at the heroes we have in TV and film now: Drug dealers, dirty cops, broken families, vampires, zombies and more serial killers than you can shake a knife at.
Which brings me to Superman.
The Superman we grew up on was stalwart, honest, true, a big ‘ol boy scout. This was memorialized in the classic 1978 Richard Donner film with Christopher Reeve. But do we still deserve this Superma? In 2010, Brandon Routh put on the cape but that Superman movie did not move audiences. And it wasn't Routh, he was good in the role and the move was true to the legend. I think it’s because that particular Superman was too good.
Look at the comic book heroes we have now. Batman is a hero more like our society. He is violent, brooding, wears black and kicks ass without question or reservation. Spiderman is a snarky antihero, Tony Stark is a billionaire asshole and Wolverine, well, that brother got knives for fingers. He could throw up a gang sign and kill your ass.
So, if we get the heroes we deserve, do we still deserve a Superman?
Do we, as a society, still aspire to goodness or do we now worship power, money and might as right? In the new Superman Movie, it looks like our hero is a brooding drifter who struggles to accept his great power. This could certainly work because remember, Superman is an alien who wants to be human and no one would ever accept a bad Superman. Badass is another question.
Our world is going crazy right now. Bombings, drone strikes, mass shootings and nuclear drama. We could certainly use a Superman and despite out still struggling society, I think we definitely deserve one.