The Impact of Superman (Superhero) On Today’s American Society
The display of superheroes is often the time as Halloween, but their significant exceeds beyond their comic stripes and costumes. Often, superheroes have been viewed as scenes that encourage attitudes in times of issues by raising and strengthening people’s hope. In light of these observations, where did the Superman originates from? How does he affect American pop culture? Do humans learn from the experiences of Superman? It is evident that the creation of Superman and how he is depicted in modern American culture can be termed as the most famous superhero due to the positive impacts of giving hope.
The first Superman came as a result of World War II. Superman has been depicted to have come from a doomed planet Krypton and traveled to earth, where he was housed by a loving couple in Smallville, Kansas (Gordon 148). As he grew up, he realized his unique strengths and abilities, the superpowers, which he uses to protect his community from wrongdoers. According to the Superman movie producer, Stan Lee, the stories of superheroes are borrowed from the Greek, Norse, and Roman methodologies (Olson n.p.). Olson further states that the connection between "the knights of the round tables and King Arthur" and the "Justice League", are presumed to explain the origin of superheroes. The ancient Rome Egypt, the gods of Greece, have been incorporated in the superman-series, only that they are depicted wearing cape and spandex.
According to Stan Lee, Superman stories have been borrowed from ancient times and the producers have ensured that there is no loss of the core elements of the stories (Olson). The same themes presented in the ninth century have been modified and shown in the twenty-first century through the Superman series. The Superman series encompasses ideas like saving human versus world destruction and domination, human's versus and gods, evil versus good (Farooqi n.p.). It was during the Great Depression period and World War II that the Golden Age of Comic Books heroes originated: this was the period between the late 1930s and 1950. Superman debut took place in 1938. The stories of World War II and the Great Depression inspired the rise of the Superman series.
Concerning the role of Superman in the society, he inspires hope in times of challenges and weakness. The character has been depicted as hardworking and hence victorious and who plays the role of inspiring young Americans. Through the fights of the human versus evil, a simplistic escapist fantasy was provided to the reader of the imaginative comic books. After World War II began, the character was depicted as to be fighting for the truth, justice and the American way in which mass patriotism and nationalism was proved during the times of the war. Moreover, the personality of Superman has not changed for about 75 years (Farooqi n.p.). For this reason and during the cultural shifts of 1970 and the impacts of the Vietnam War, Superman proved that despite the imperfections of the Americans, they were still heroes (Olson n.p.). In a related observation, Superman has been used to portray the undying will of the Americans and their strength especially during difficult times over the years. This aspect has significantly influenced, changed and shaped the American culture.
As mentioned above, the image of Superman has not changed over the years. Despite impacting positively on the American culture, the same visuals used over 50 years ago still rule the costumes of Superman. The same visual has created a lasting impression that of a bright, skin-tight uniform, as the portrait of a superhero for generations. Spandex, flowing capes, underwear-over-the-pants, and the primary colors have been used to identify the fictional heroes, affiliations and power sets. The custom of using the same costumes has revolutionized almost every aspect of shooting the heroic films and TV shows. In particular, these depictions have created a mental picture in many young American citizens. For this reason and in the attempt to meet consumer preferences and tastes, the costume industry has been significantly influenced. Most of the clothes meant for teenagers often possess the portrait of a Superman or a superhero.
Also, the impact of Superman comic series started off airing in a radio station before being presented in comic cartoon series in 1941 – which aimed at children (Olson n.p.). Around 1950, the televisions were filled with the Superman shows that entertained children as well as adults after airing for six seasons. Although in the music industry the character did not have substantial influence as would have been expected, “It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman” song was released in 1966 (Olson n.p.). Onwards, the film industry has tried to develop better visuals of Superman, which has resulted in dozens of new television series. Such developments in the music, movie and fashion industry constitute employment and income for various companies. Subsequently, Superman has promoted economic development of the country.
Superman portrays extremes of what humans wish they could do, to possess the extraordinary superpowers. Americans who have watched or read the Superman series have had that impression that Superman provides inspiration, hopes, and protection. These aspects have made most Americans wish to possess extraordinary powers. The creation of Superman in all movies and comic books such as Krypton, and through The Last Son of Krypton, The Man of Steel, and The Man of Tomorrow portrays him as a champion who shows undying love for humanity by saving lives of those in need (Olson n.d.). The picture implanted to humans is that Superman is the savior for humankind. In this case, the character is emblematic of goodwill and the need to fight for the welfare of the oppressed. People are motivated to fight social injustices who fights corruption in governments and other social and economic injustices. The character further depicts the need for social and economic justice when he changed his state from serving the Americans only to a universal symbol. With no political backlash, Superman intervened the Middle East turmoil. After the 9/11, Superman once again portrayed patriotism and nationalism where he strengthened the “Us vs. Them" movement (Farooqi n.d.). The brevity shown during such incidences gives people the urge and motivation to fight for better social, economic and political conditions.
The creation of Superman has had significant effects on the modern America mainly by acting as a symbol of identity and giving people hope. The character has been termed as the savior of the humankind through the life-saving scenarios in the comic series. Subsequently, Americans have been changed culturally by the superhero comic series by being emotionally attached and developing identity that seeks for justice. Moreover, the depiction of the character has influenced such as the fashion and television industries indicating the economic influence superheroes. Importantly, the superpowers of the superhero have been used to inspire hope in times of weakness.
Farooqi, Sheraz. "The Importance of Superheroes in A Broken Society | Comicbook Debate". Comicbook Debate, 1 Jan. 2018, https://comicbookdebate.com/2018/01/01/the-importance-of-heroes-in-a-broken-society/. Accessed 13 May 2019.
Gordon, Ian. "Superman on the set: The market, nostalgia and television audiences." Quality Popular Television: Cult TV, the Industry and Fans, edited by Mark Jancovich and James Lyons, British Film Institute, 2003, pp. 148-62.
Olson, JR. "The Impact of Superman On American Culture". Infotainment News, 21 Dec. 2013, http://infotainmentnews.net/2013/12/21/impact-superman-american-culture/. Accessed 13 May 2019.