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  • Raghav Sand

Superheroes: Essential Excesses

Superheroes are the good guys who eventually save our planet form the bad guys. Most of us would have come across superheroes in Hollywood movies or animated TV series. Each one of us will have a faint memory of the first instance we came across a righteous and extraordinary character in an animated movie / TV series / or comic book. A few made-in-India avatars have also tried to grab viewer / reader attention, but they have not come anywhere close to the fan following of the Avengers or the characters from DC comics’ universe. The Marvel vs. DC debate has split the world in two halves, though, an ardent fan knows that this healthy competition motivates and improves the whole genre of masked and caped warriors.

Engaging Entertainment

Humans have been storytellers ever since they developed some sort of communication skills. With passage of time the medium and method have evolved, but the basics have remained intact. Technology has infused life in all the aspects of filmmaking and various advancements – both big and small – have trickled down in the entire ecosystem of entertainment and advertising.

As discussed above, the basic premise in a superhero movie is the classic tale of good prevails over evil; perspective and performance needed innovation and it has always surpassed expectations. The attention to detail is inspiring and the makers of superhero movies prove Aristotle right, who said that, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”.

Heroes Among Us

In every superhero story, the character with positive intentions is shown to be seamlessly integrated among common folks. This has a lesson for someone who attains knowledge and wealth in the real world: use your resources for the good of mankind only when it is necessary. Being loud and proud about a temporary power are the signs of someone whose heart is not in the right place. Negative and positive characters are exhibited to draw a contrast between the two extremes.

Villains Among Us

A good opponent makes the hero look more heroic. Readers / viewers recall Thanos and Joker as clearly as the Avengers and Batman, respectively. The creators have to do justice to each character and walk a thin line; striking the optimum balance is the deal clincher. We all have our bad days, but on most occasions, we have learned to funnel our energies and pursue the path of righteousness. Overcoming failure, loneliness, and a troubled childhood and adolescence are vital for pursuing constructive and worthwhile endeavours. The bad guy is aware of the eventual end of his reign, but knowingly looks the other way and enjoys every bit of the journey. The good guy is more occupied with the end result of re-establishing peace and tranquility.

Battle between Lord Ram and Ravana (L); Batman and Joker from the The Dark Knight Trilogy (R)

Hindu mythology also has its share of bad guys. These individuals attained boons after penance, but somehow couldn’t figure out how to apply it for common good. Being self-obsessed at the cost of others eventually adds up, and then, the law of karma takes over. All of us are born the same; our mentors, associates and choices make us what we are.

Plethora of Powers

Superhero creators have masterfully kept us engaged to the content with introduction of new characters and adding layers to pre-existing ones. Seamless amalgamation of storylines and timelines have enthralled audiences. If one character has mechanical prowess, the other will have brute muscle power. An alien living among us can turn out to be a guardian angel, while siblings may find themselves on the opposite sides of the aisle. Power may have been attained because of lineage, and a select few were purposefully developed in the lab as weapons.

Comedy and banter are judiciously sprinkled in between the intense and long action sequences. Routine is the enemy of creativity. Time and again the production houses’ think tanks have developed characters which may seem absurd and outrageous, but the quality of execution infused life in fiction. Hollywood’s pursuit for diversity has made sure that non-whites and females can also be the saviours of human race.

Standing by for the Guardian Angel

Mythology and folktales have instilled a thought in our subconscious – when the evil forces disturb the balance of life, a saviour will come to liberate the oppressed. Does this feeling holds us back from finding solutions to problems on our own and delegate responsibilities to others? What if we do not let negativity blossom in the first place?

Lord Krishna (R) reciting the Bhagavad Gita to Arjun (L). In this verse Krishna talks about taking incarnations to re-establish good conduct and virtuous life on Earth.

There are immaculate life lessons in the stories we have come across. The vantage point and perspective define what we grasp. Fictional superheroes have entertained us and the human ability to tell stories will innovate to keep up with times. The world knows and has rightfully acknowledged the real heroes. You don’t always need a suit or weapon to create a lasting positive impact on society.

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