I am stuck with this vision of Spider Man flitting all over Manhattan in search of people and cats to save. Like it was his job. because ultimately it is. Which has to wear on him sometimes. I know: That whole Uncle Ben's dying guilt trip about great power and great responsibility, but come on. Santa Claus gets three hundred and sixty-four days off a year and we treat him like a saint.
Tina Turner may have said it best when she sang "We don't need another hero." At the time, she was referencing Max, who was still a little bit Mad after dealing with all that road rage. Tina may have been suggesting that what we really needed was to be heroes ourselves.
What if, when Superman came streaking down from the sky, the neighborhood had pulled together and put sand bags out to keep floodwaters from ravaging the town? "Thanks Supes. We got it. You can head on back to the Fortress of Solitude. Better yet, why not go see what that girl reporter is up to?"
When heroes exist, it's hard to imagine life without them. What's more, it seems to drive the expectation that whatever the calamity that comes there will be a costumed avenger or two around to keep it from happening. Like the way New York City was saved from an alien invasion by a team of super-powered individuals who came together to stave off the attack.
Except the aliens wouldn't be there trying to wreak all that havoc if Mister Captain America hadn't forced the issue with that blue cube in the first place. Again, we might forgive Cap for his oversized sense of duty, since he tends to show up as pretty oversized in most ways. All those other dogfaces in Europe fighting against the Axis were doing a similar job without the aid of a shield and super-soldier serum. Were they any less super?
My wife and I talked a little about this the other morning, and we were wondering if there wasn't a better supper hero out there: De-Escalator, able to calm down every situation before it becomes a conflict. How about Community Organizer, who harnesses the powers around him to create a larger force that only seeks to defend, protect and nurture their own neighborhoods in positive ways. Maybe Mind Your Own Business Gal, ready to leap in and remind us that sometimes it's better to let things run its course.
There are so many opportunities to save the world, but I believe that maybe we could start by trying to do the job ourselves.