Hero Worship

If summer films devoted to crashes, flying vehicles and flawed humanity show us anything, it’s that adults need their heroes as much as children do. Will Smith’s latest film “Hancock” is his eighth Number One debut, and uses the Black Superhero model as a symbol that we may see more of with a Black president on the way. But heroes come in too many forms for us to assign unusual celestial attributes make them. Gamma ray poisoning is not what makes the Incredible Hulk a “hero”, but his subdued disposition in the face of society’s rage makes him courageous. The fantastic representation of heroism undoubtedly obscures what qualities that can make human beings larger than the sum of our parts. Therefore, being resolute comes with an internal toll beyond what external factors affect us. The recent clamor for leader in the black community comes partly from our obsession with heroes. Barack Obama has the charismatic all-knowing stature of any comic strip hero, so we afford him the same reverence. Jesse Jackson, stripped of his heroic credentials by way of public gaffes and the hands of time, wishes he could grab on to his cape of ’88 and stand with the worshiped few once more. Celebrity has defamed and devalued heroism. But I have always wanted to believe in something greater than self, greater than humanity but that shows in our worldly actions. Since the televangelists will never convert me, and the political talking heads reek of similar idolatry, I look to moral leaders.

Part 1 – Why we look to the wrong sources for heroism

Part 2 – Nas’s new single “Hero”…why it’s both perfect and misleading

Part 3 – The real heroes. (Hint: Not Jesse Jackson or Barack Obama)

And for one of my favorite black heroes of all time: Brotherman, Dictator of Discipline.

Visit Brotherman Comics for more information on back issues.


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