What Makes a Superhero

090311-N-0696M-097 A lone U.S. Army bugler plays Taps at the conclusion of the First Annual Remembrance Ceremony in Dedication to Fallen Military Medical Personnel at Arlington National Cemetery,  March 11, 2009.(DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley/Released)

DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley/Released

On September 11, 2001, firefighter Joe Torillo worked tirelessly to evacuate civilians from the collapsing World Trade Center, but endured life-threatening injuries when he was buried under falling rubble and debris, twice. On May 5, 2004, Deputy Jennifer Fulford-Savano exchanged gunfire with burglars in Florida who had taken some children hostage. She saved the children and defeated the burglars, but took ten bullets to her body in the process. The deeds these two people and many more have accomplished are of superheroic proportions. However, they did not need superhuman abilities to overcome their challenges and act as superheroes.

The two simple words that make up superhero are super and hero. When separate hero means, ¨a person who performs valiant acts with bravery and courage,¨ while super means, ¨of high quality.¨ Together, the meaning becomes a person who courageously performs heroic acts of exceptional quality. Now this definition can apply to policemen and women as well as military personnel whose jobs require a large amount of bravery and courage everyday, exactly the job of superhero.

A superhero can be anybody, not necessarily just those with superhuman abilities, who is willing to answer the call of duty in order to protect others. Some of comic books’ most famous superheroes do not have super powers. Green Arrow, Batman, Robin, Black Widow, and Hawkeye are considered by many to be superheroes, for they all protect the people they love and the innocent citizens of their cities. Many people have read the amazing stories about the deeds these ¨un¨powered superheroes, have accomplished. Readers would agree that these heroes would count as superheroes. Also, in some certain comic books, the superheroes with superhuman abilities have referred to ordinary policemen, firefighters and military personnel as the true superheroes of our world.

Some say that Batman should not be called a superhero because he does not have superpowers. He is not invincible, can not fly, or shoot laser beams, so he cannot be a superhero. Arguers stress the need to have similarity in prefixes. However, Batman was the one who saved Gotham City from the maniacal clutches of the Joker, from Bane, from Two-Face. He defeated all these evil super villains who only could possibly have been defeated by a superhero. Some also claim that policemen and military personnel should not be called superheroes either, but they both protect the innocent and fight those who endanger our country in a super way. They risk their lives every day to serve and protect. Their brave actions should earn them the titles of superheroes.

Superheroes are everywhere, in the media, in stories, in our lives. They fly, shoot laser beams from their eyes, beat up criminals, and permeate the imaginations of children and adults alike. However superheroes aren’t just limited to those who can lift a thousand tons or who can easily save the world with a snap of their fingers. Sometimes those people who act brave and strong, who fight even in the face of insurmountable odds and danger can be the ones that truly deserve to be called superheroes.