Random Thursday Drabble: What makes a hero?

“I keep hearing people talk about how Superman’s the best super hero or Batman’s better or how great Wonder Woman or Oracle is — and they compare their muscles or their powers or their smarts like it all came down to the stats printed on the back of the cards their action figures came on.”

“But that’s not it?”

“No. That’s not it. None of that’s it. None of those heroes are better or worse than each other, regardless of powers, because there’s only one measure that counts.”

“And that is?”

“When everyone else is running away, super heroes run toward.”

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#1 Packbat on 06.13.13 at 12:01 pm

Most important criterion, to be sure.

#2 Eddie C. on 06.13.13 at 12:40 pm

The important takeaway is that Superman is no better than Scrappy Doo.

#3 Eric Burns-White on 06.13.13 at 1:09 pm

Scrappy’s a bad example, as he’s clearly portrayed as delusional. While it could be argued that insanity is par for the course for heroes, Scrappy isn’t really of sound mind.

That said… what takes more courage, more will, more honor and more fidelity — rushing towards danger when you’re invulnerable and can lift the Chrysler Building? Or rushing towards danger when you’re a great dane with a pituitary gland issue?

#4 Packbat on 06.13.13 at 1:43 pm

I think the example of the delusional would-be hero is important, though, and explains why people talk about the baseball card stats: superheroes do not merely run towards danger, they deal with the danger — they rescue people, they stop criminals, they prevent disasters. Their presence makes the world better.

#5 Eric Burns-White on 06.13.13 at 3:11 pm

But only if they show up to play in the first place.

#6 Packbat on 06.13.13 at 4:31 pm

I agree — I’m saying you can’t easily omit either aspect of it.

#7 ubersoft on 06.13.13 at 11:13 pm

“But there’s a twelve month waiting period where everyone waits to see if you get arrested or sued. Or both.”

#8 Dave Van Domelen on 06.14.13 at 7:11 pm

Or rolls towards, in Oracle’s case.

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