What Every Superhero Teaches us about Humanity

Every great superhero has one trait that I admire.

They get back up again. 

They know what they’re fighting for, their purpose, and that is the one driving force that keeps them walking forward, and it’s the one thing that causes them to get back up again when an enemy has quite literally thrown them down into the ground.

Superheroes all start off as normal people. They all emerge, however, as something greater when their abilities come to life in the suits and masks that they have uniquely built for themselves. 

I believe superheroes bring something human to the table that teach us about the greater human strength and resilience that we all have inside us — simply because they have the ability to show up and stand up with and for one another despite the driving forces against them. 

Carol Danvers, for example, was a normal human being before crashing her plane on a new planet. She was salvaged by the people on that planet, but in return lost all of her memories from earth. She goes on a journey to discover who she really is, to recall the memories she lost due to the powers she was given. 

In an epic scene where her enemy is trying to stop her from remembering, she fights for her life, taking a kneel when it gets difficult to feel. She eventually realizes that her feelings — while always told they were a weakness — are her greatest asset. They are also the very thing that help her recall all the memories she lost. In a monumental moment, she remembers it all, memory after memory of her childhood, where she was always taunted for being different, but the resilience of her very nature and getting back up again are what truly drive all her powers.

In remembrance of who she really was, she was able to stand back up again and defeat her enemy. 

In the same way, Jesus says “I Am” and defeats enemies. Even when He is whipped too many times, He stands back up again. Even when the grave threatens to keep Him down, there is a standing back up and a rolling away of the stone, a calling back to all that have believed to stand up with him. To follow. The essence being that in order to follow, one must get up again.

In the last film, Avengers: Endgame, Thor finds himself drowning in self-pity and doubt, but his friends recognize how much they need him to fight and choose to meet him exactly where he is at. Despite the way he’s turned out in five years of defeat, they call him back to fight, knowing that he is an essential part of their group. 

Whether Thor is at his best or at his worst, his friends don’t ask him to change in any way, they just say “hey, we need you, if what you need is this, it’s there, come fight as you are.” He gets up and fights with them, but it’s not until much later in the film that he remembers who he is and realizes that he still holds the power he’s always had inside of him. Without the help of his friends, however, he would have probably stayed sitting in his pity party.

Every superhero gets up again. In the same way, for us, it is important that we fight for each other and dignify each other’s seasons. We must call each other back to who we really are while also being careful not to ask or expect too much while supporting our friends in seasons of remembrance.

And that’s why superheroes like the Avengers keep us hooked, why Stan Lee did something right in creating this universe we’ve all come to know, love, and invest in over the years. At their very core, the Marvel Superheroes show us the very nature of humanity in its purest and best form. 

They reflect how we learn to resist insecurity and doubt together. Superheroes take what has always been within and make it the superpower that calls them to continue rising over and over again.