For a long time, humans have been seeking alternate realities to escape the bleakness of the living world. There is so much we wish to change, and so much that we are powerless to. Children around the world pick up Comic Books, some to escape a torn household, some to forget their personal demons. All of them have one thing in common, they have an escape route.
There are millions of universes full of superheroes; some who can fly and others who can shoot lasers out of their eyes. As a child, I had very different aspirations to achieve that elevated state of being. I wanted to be invisible. I wanted to be rid of the sense of powerlessness that I possessed. I wanted to be the one who changed lives, but never could.
As I finish watching Wonder Woman again, and stand at the balcony looking up at an airplane, promising myself that I will go to sleep before 2:30 today, I wish I could fly up to it; and then I look down and yearn to help the child sleeping in the street corner, shivering. There is so much we want to do, but never have the options or power to. There are even more people who have the wherewithal to make the changes that you wish you could, but choose not to.
Comic Books have given us superheroes, and ideals; but we cannot enforce our ideals upon others.
Creative fiction always has that power upon minds, to warp the sense of reality, and assure the reader that they are so much more. One book about Wonder Woman might be the difference between a little girl standing up to her playground bullies, or a grown woman choosing to leave the security of her job and take a stand against a harassing superior. One volume of Batman might instil in a little boy the hope that one day he will be able to stand up to his ideals, and become the change he wanted to see around him, or a grown man understanding that therapy is not something to be ashamed or afraid of. Everyone has their demons, even our superheroes.
Comic Books are not just for kids, they are so much more, just like fiction and fantasy that many learned people look down upon. While it might not be realism, it certainly is the ray of hope that thousands need.
Black Widow might not be a monotone character, and that is what the reality of the world is. There are shades of grey, red, blue, green and certainly all the colours of the rainbow, hiding within the prism of social consciousness and self-expression.
Some might not be able to let the scenes of a book’s imagery blossom in their mind’s eye, but the art accompanying action filled sequences somehow get’s embedded in the dark recesses of our mind. These are the recesses that come to the forefront when personal choices are involved. Subconsciously, scenes from a book, or a comic, or even a film, might help you take a step to make the world, however marginally, a better place.
Maybe my superpower is to function with minimal amount of sleep, maybe it is to break bottles that I never meant to, or maybe it is something much more; but it took a Patty Jenkins to make me realise that we can be so much more than we think we are.
We need superheroes to believe that. And we need books to realize that we can achieve so much, even if it is by escaping into another reality or even by furiously typing words into a laptop.