Do you think a superhero is a god or a mortal?
Modern pop culture is saturated with superheroes; in fact, it feels like there is a new superhero movie every three months or so. Thus, it is no wonder that after being soaked in this culture of superheroes that act with impunity in worlds of their author’s creation that a someone should wonder at the morality of superheroes. In my work, I argue against the popular belief that anyone who acts “good” and has a superpower is a superhero.
I propose a new way of defining the superhero that removes the superhero from the pedestal of demi-god/god that they are placed on by society and returns the superhero to the realm of the human without nerfing their abilities. This essay is broken up into four sections; starting with my definition, moving into the philosophy backing me up, progressing with a practical section of the application, and ending in a conclusion. Each section will examine things very relevant to demonstrating why my definition of the superhero is important to returning the superhero to the people.
The third section of this paper, which focuses on philosophy which bolsters my argument, features a lesser known work of Simone de Beauvoir, The Ethics of Ambiguity. This work will be used to show how my definition is not only informed by philosophy, but help return the superhero to the mortal realm.
Testerman, J. (2017). The Morality of Superheroes: Gods No More. Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio.