Do superheroes have to have superpowers?

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Are firefighters heroes? Are they superheros? Are superheroes only found in comic books? In the world, there are many examples of great deeds being done by people. But what is the difference between a hero and a superhero? People are bound to have different answers, and opinions to these questions, but a hero needs a superpower to be considered a superhero.

Not all heroes are fictional, but superheroes are, and can have any power in the author’s imagination. The dictionary definition a superhero is “a benevolent fictional character with superhuman powers.” These powers include extraordinary strength, the ability to fly, incredible speed, or any other exaggerated capability. Every superhero has to have a power because they are created to make fun, entertaining story lines for readers and movie-goers. The stories usually start with a regular person that wants to help the world in some way. Then something “happens” to the person, and they develop some kind of superhuman capability, and become a superhero. For example, Peter Parker is transformed into Spiderman after being exposed to radiation.

On the other hand, heroes are the men and woman fighting for our country. Heroes are bystanders becoming upstanders in a time of need. Heroes don’t have superpowers because they are ordinary people admired for their extraordinary efforts to help others. There are many heroes among us. They might not look like the people we see in comic books and movies wearing tights and capes, but they can still change many lives for the better. Some wear uniforms and badges, like police officers, while others wear plain clothes and go unnoticed everyday. They make the world a better place without expecting anything in return.

Sometimes however, extraordinary actions are taken by real people, and some may consider them superheroes. Some people consider courage in a time of need as a superpower. For example, the men and women firefighters who ran up the stairs of the World Trading Center buildings on 9/11 showed extreme courage in the face of a crisis. They are amazing heroes, but they aren’t superheroes because they don’t have an exceptional nonhuman power. Everyone has the ability to be courageous, and we should honor the people that chose to help. But courage isn’t a superpower because everyone can choose to be brave, which isn’t a fictional trait.

We have real heroes and villains in the world, but superheroes and supervillains are found in the fictional worlds we love to watch and read about. We should all do something nice for someone everyday. Be a hero that goes unnoticed, and make someone’s day a little brighter. Like Ghandi, who was famous for believing: “Be the change that you want to see in the world”

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