“Personally, always found that heroism was altruism for showoffs, but maybe I’m just a dick” – Hiro Mikuriya
Heroism is a pretty weird thing. Sure it doesn’t exist in the most obvious of places but it’s out there. Heroism is symbolised by a multitude of things (too many to ramble out here with my fully ramblomatic skills) so I’m going to have to cut it down to inspiration and subsequently hope. In using this, I want to try and prove that heroes can and do exist in this day and age (keyword try). The kickstarter for this one could not have come from a more obvious place, but still, it’s one worth thinking about:
“Ladies, children, sheep…Some people call me a terrorist. I consider myself a teacher. Lesson number one: Heroes, there is no such thing” – The Mandarin, Iron Man 3
This is already shaping up to be my nerdiest blog to date, and I’m not even a paragraph in. The reason that I’ve chosen The Mandarin’s statement is because I believe it to be totally untrue (even though he’s fictional, but that’s not the point!). Saying that there is no such thing as heroes is almost like saying that inspiration is non-existent, that dreams are a fleeting passing, that hope is pointless. Well, there are plenty of examples that combat this. Heroes are present all around us, whether it’s in films, comic books or even your own household. I like to think, being the eternal optimist that I am, that everyone has at least one person that serves as an inspiration, that maintains some kind of impact on your life and in doing so effects your outlook and how you carry out certain aspects of it. All of these comic book heroes are essentially the same, they act as a symbol of some form of inspiration, and all in all, I’d say it works pretty well.
“I know your kind, you think you can just walk in and take our planet. But you forgot one thing, I’m my father’s son!” – Gohan, Dragonball Z: Bojack Unbound
These inspirational forms are also present within media themselves, the hero of the day always has some figure that warps their view of the world to such an extent that they choose to become the protectors that they are. Those of you that know your anime will know that Goku and his son Gohan are essentially the Japanese equivalent of Superman. Gohan’s strength is drawn from fighting alongside his father and a wish to carry on his legacy. In short, a key example of how so-called “heroes” can be depicted to impact the lives of others. Now our “heroes” may not have superpowers or a fully-loaded suit of armour, but they exist, in those that inspire you to do whatever it is that you do.
“If you want to be a hero, you need to have dreams!” – Zack Fair, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII
Before I wrap things up I just want to touch on the “dreams” thing for a bit. This is essentially where most “heroes” tend to be born, where inspirations come from, where ideals are gained. Every hero has a goal of some kind; for some it’s to teach, for others it’s to protect, and if you’re Iron Man it’s to display secret identities as overrated (as well as y’know being a “genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist.”). Essentially that’s what Zack’s saying. With the added edge of some kind of goal or dream worth achieving, a “hero” can establish themselves and chart a course for what they want to do.
Ok, so this was a bit of a long one, and I have but scratched the surface of such a broad topic. But I like to think that I’ve shown how wrong The Mandarin’s statement actually is, and not just because I secretly wish I was Iron Man. To reiterate my earlier statement, every inspiration has some form of figurehead or image associated with it, and in most cases these are “heroes”. Your hero could be your father, a sibling, an old teacher or even those you see in your comic books. As long as your own drive and dreams are ignited, I like to think that acts as proof enough that “heroes” exist, but that’s just me.
Sephiroth: “Tell me what you cherish most. Give me the pleasure of taking it away!”
Cloud Strife: “You just don’t get it. There isn’t a thing in this world I don’t cherish!” – Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
‘Til Next Time