Author: Travis Smith

Publisher: Templeton Press
ISBN: 978-1-59947-4-0

The author of this book is obviously concerned about the plight of the world as we know it. Thus his book about what is amiss and how we might salvage what we have already. He likens the DC Comics and Marvel hero’s to those of the ancient Greeks. How do we take these amazing Gods and place them on a human level? Can they actually help us save the world?

Screenwriters have long since written stories about those special people who somehow managed to either find out they had a hidden super power or through some trial were able to come out of the tumult with a super power. Most often those characters have an altruistic outlook on life and are bent on saving the world and her remiss populace.

Smith says “But freedom well used ought to spark some virtue, some relative excellence or character. So if superheroes can encourage some everyday ethical behavior – inspiring responsibility and integrity, living with resolve rather than resignation – while exposing some of our worst tendencies and misguided aspirations, then it is worth thinking about them critically.” (2018, p.9) I tend to agree in that we need to act with integrity and purpose and care about the earth and all her inhabitants.

As the book continues there are discussions about many of the best known superheroes and how they relate to the world. I.e., the Hulk, Tony Stark, and Bruce Banner. Then the question is posed as to whether they are predators, prey, or perhaps both. How has society and scientific progression favored these special beings? Was it fate, genius, or abuse? Were not these very superheroes victims prior to deciding to act on their special talents?

Then how do each of these superheroes measure up against the next? Can the Wolverine and Tony Stark work together or do they tangle over who is superior? Smith says that “Tony trusts that he can overcome any obstacle, avert any catastrophe, and fix any problems he faces…”. (2018, p.43) What of the Green Lantern?

This book is filled with comparisons and contrasts of the various superheroes from comic book lore. There are lessons we can translate into today and behaviors we can adopt to help us possibly reverse the damage we have done via environmental abuse, lax legislation, and more.

If you want a fun, and not too heavy read this is a good pick. It gives you a little food for thought mixed with a lot of characters from our childhood to recall and consider for future guardians of our current universe.