When I knew we would be talking about the origins of superheroes in class I assumed we would be talking about the creation of Superman, Spiderman and such superheroes who have been made popular through movie and tv show franchise. I never truly considered the span of the word superhero and how it originated not only through commercialized practices but in the way in which people view literature and famous figures.
When talking about superheroes most people’s first instincts is to think about those with super powers such as super strength, the ability to fly, invisibly and much more. However, the initially concept of superheroes originated of eugenics and natural selection/fitness. Chris Gaveled spoke more to the class on how the idea of a superhero is not exclusive to the popular modern superheroes. Gaveled touches on Nietzsche’s idea of the super human. Nietzsche’s super human does not have super powers in the typical fashion but instead is thought to posses the qualities of a more advanced human. His idea of the super human follow the idea of eugenics. Eugenics is the idea that certain qualities which an individual possesses makes them more advanced than others. Eugenics have been known in history to be taken to an extreme. Such an instance can be seen in the Holocaust. Hitler had the idea the Germans typically with blond hair and blue eyes should be seen as the advanced race. In addition Hitler felt that all of those who did not reach such specifications, such as people who were Jewish corrupted his vision of a super human race and needed to be eradicated.
However, Gaveled explained how superheroes do not behave irrational or with the purpose of vengeance. However, superheroes are obligated to act in such a role as vigilantes. It is for this reason that through comic books and movies, people have grown up expecting that superheroes would save them through times of hardship. The idea of superheroes gives the average person an sense of home when life seems hopeless. In addition it gives people the idea that even the most impossible events and most evil thoughts can be overcome by some power. Gaveled mentioned that all superheroes originated from a form of a superhero “big bang.” In this idea of the big bang all traits which superheroes possessed first became present. However, for the longest of time the vision of a super hero was that of a strong and handsome man. It was not until more recently that superheroes such as Superwoman and Cat Woman became more apparent. The fact that creators of superheroes have now given power to women through their stories and movies shows how the idea of superheroes has changed, for the better, through time. In addition the idea of the typical superhero as changed from the crime fighting perfect citizen hero to that of Deadpool. Dead pool, recently released by Marvel, shows how superheroes have evolved from their strict mold and there now exists more variation. Dead pool, once a hitman becomes a crime fighting superhero.