Superheroes in American Culture

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Superheroes are much more super than society wants us to believe. As many critics try and analyze, they primarily focus upon the visuals of superheroes, which they believe to have negatively impacted society, creating an impression that superheroes are poor role models. However, they tend to overlook the personality traits and mentalities that shape a superhero as much as their dominating visual physical exterior. Obviously superheroes have been imagined with idealistic qualities, but most people do not realize how these concepts are reflected past comics and shape ideologies about culture and everyday life. Images of physically superior beings with limited with weaknesses, and strong personalities have permeated our culture and have people trying to shape themselves to be like the superheroes they so admire. From Superman, created in 1938, Batman in 1939 and Wonder Woman, conceptualized in 1941, superheroes have been created with nearly characteristics imaginable and that shape and regularly reflect the ideologies of society.

Superman, the most recognizable of superheroes, was first imagined during the Great Depression, and in 1938, was first released into comics. Superman, also known as Clark Kent, grew into a cultural icon that has acted as the foundation for creating stereotypes towards what it means to be beyond human and essentially perfect. One of the key traits of Superman, and several future superheroes, is their ability to suddenly take flight and travel to where ever they desire. This characteristic is traditional in the essence that from the very first immigrants, Americans acted as a mobile, seemingly aimless, but adventurous people that sought to explore. These were all principles that were later described as part as the Manifest Destiny when the eastern states began to migrate towards the west. The capability of having an unstoppable means of travel enforces the belief that Americans are endowed with a sense of mobility, where “physical...
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