Bob is a hero.
Scratch that. Bob is the hero.
He fights with honor — he never kicks opponents while they’re down or uses dirty tricks to win a confrontation. If he takes to the battlefield, he fights with appropriate force and despairs having to see any bloodshed. His goodness is genuine, not some con, and he will always make the right choice even when people would never know he made the wrong one. He looks out for the little guy, stands up for what’s morally correct, and serves as the role model for heroes — being their standard-bearer, in many ways — and as a beacon of character for villains — even prompting villains to give up their immoral ways.
The Ideal Hero is seen quite often in children’s media, to the point where you could call it common. Oftentimes, the Ideal Hero in such stories will get rewarded, and plentifully so, for being a good guy through and through. What’s more, he never struggles with himself, being The Hero from sunrise to sunset.
In stories for adult audiences, things are not that simple. Usually, the Ideal Hero does what he does because it’s the right way to live. He gets rewarded for it less often (sometimes far less often) than not. What’s more, he may even struggle with himself to make the right choice — but always (or almost always) makes the right choice in the end.
Done wrong, Bob can exemplify any of an array of the worst of good guy tropes, like Stupid Good, Lawful Stupid, and — in the worst cases — even a Knight Templar who refuses to allow any deviation from his strict moral code.
At one time, probably a Dead Horse Trope, but the Ideal Hero has been subverted and deconstructed to the point that it’s experiencing a quiet resurgence of popularity, mostly as a reconstruction, but sometimes simply played straight.
“And the reason that she loved him was the reason I loved him too.
And he never wondered what was right or wrong. He just knew.”~David Crosby and Phil Collins, “Hero”
” Each of you brings something different to the table. Strength, speed, stealth, whatever. But we’re all equal in at least one way, each of us is willing to make the sacrifices a hero needs to make, even the ultimate one.”~Superman
” Though we gather here today, bound together in sorrow and loss, we share a precious gift. We are, all of us, privileged to live a life that has been touched by Superman. The Man of Steel possessed many extraordinary gifts, and he shared them with us freely. None of these gifts were more remarkable than his ability to discern what needed to be done, and his unfailing courage in doing it, whatever the personal cost. Let us all strive to accept his gift, and pass it along, as an ongoing tribute to Kal-El of Krypton, the immigrant from the stars, who taught us all how to be heroes.”
“It is a remarkable dichotomy. In a way, Clark is the most human of us all. Then he shoots fire from the skies, And its hard not to think of him as a god. And how fortunate we all are that it does not occur to him.”
To quote Grant Morrison: “He’s like a sci-fi Jesus.” Coming from a mad Scottish chaos magician, that means a lot. 😛
The wonderful thing about Superman is that he belongs to all of us. Sure, there’s that whole “American Way” thing, but he’s progressively become more about representing the light of humanity as a whole. Morrison once talked about how it would be counter-productive to make Superman explicitly Christian (or any other religion for that matter) because it would take away from how he stands for us all without needing to be held down by any specific human belief structure.
Superman stands for the good in what humanity has to offer, he is a tireless crusader for justice and never gives up the fight. He is not one of us, yet would give his life in our defense. He is so far above us, yet is humbled to live in our presence. It could be said that Superman is hero we need, but not the hero we deserve. He would say otherwise.
it may sound absurd, but don’t be naive
Even heroes have the right to bleed
I may be disturbed, but won’t you conceded
Even heroes have the right to dream
It’s not easy to be me
And boy, was he right!It’s not easy being him,and that’s what the recent MOS movie portrayed, a more “human” beginning to the Man Of Steel, as he adapts and yearns to be SUPERMAN, he is not quite yet, though he is on the path, maybe that’s why the reboot was christened “Man Of Steel” instead of Superman, because it was a more darker and human story, with lots of depth and focus on the development of the character.
But to ME,Superman stands alone. Superman did not become Superman, Superman was born Superman. When Superman wakes up in the morning, he is Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent. His outfit with the big red S is the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby when the Kents found him. Those are his clothes. What Kent wears, the glasses the business suit, that’s the COSTUME.
So don’t go telling me Superman wears his underpants the wrong way 😛 😀