Top 10 Superhero Movies

From a Catholic Digest article

By Steven D. Greydanus

To Kill a Mockingbird

Captain America: The Winter Soldier, in theaters April 4, is the latest installment in the current glut of superhero movies that shows no signs of slowing down. A lifelong comic-book geek myself, I don’t mind acknowledging some genre fatigue — but when it’s well done, I’m over the moon.

Why do we love costumed crusaders? Larger-than-life heroes fill a cultural niche occupied in the 1950s by gunslingers, in earlier centuries by Robin Hood and King Arthur, and in antiquity by the likes of Hercules, Perseus, and Odysseus.

Tolkien contended that mythic images enchant reality, or rather, reveal its magic: “By the forging of Gram cold iron was revealed; by the making of Pegasus horses were ennobled; in the Trees of the Sun and the Moon, root and stock, flower and fruit are manifested in glory.” At their best, likewise, Superman and Wonder Woman reveal manhood and womanhood, elevated above mortal frailty.

Think of the traditional qualities of the resurrected body: impassibility, subtlety, agility, clarity. Aren’t these dimly reflected in various types of superpowers? Invulnerable, immortal heroes like Superman or Thor have a kind of “impassibility”; “ghost-type” heroes who walk through walls, like Vision and Shadowcat, suggest “subtlety”; radiant superhumans like Starfire or the Silver Surfer mirror “clarity”; heroes like Nightcrawler (who can teleport), Elastigirl, and Spider-Man in varying ways evoke “agility.”

Yet superheroes are not glorified saints. When our heroes do right, they speak to our ideals; when they fail, they remind us that even the best of us have feet of clay.

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Tags: Batman, Superheroes & Comic Book Movies, You're the Top

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