Friday, December 23, 2005

On Crises

Seeing as some people I know haven't yet had the chance to read Infinite Crisis #3, I'm going to keep this as spoiler free as possible. But reading that comic today has made me do a lot of thinking. About the Crisis, about what it means to be a hero. Those sorts of things. The things they're trying to make us think about.

A lot of people (both fictional and nonfictional) want to bring back the old multiverse. They say it's a simpler time. A better time. I think it's pretty clear though why they really want to bring it back.

They're afraid. They're tired of the fight. Tired of having to go up against the evils of whatever world they're in. I can understand that. I'm tired of it too. You don't think Batman and Superman get tired of the fight? Of the loss and the sorrow and the pain? Of course they do. They may not be real, but they're as human as anyone.

But the answer is not to hit a giant reset button. Not to wipe out everything that happened before and hope it all turns out better the second time. That does a disservice to those who disappear. They will have no chance to make their lives better.

Someone else once tried to do something similar to what Earth-2 Superman is trying to do. Some people call him God. If you're familiar with the Bible you'll recall the story known popularly as "Noah's Ark." Now, when many people tell that story, they leave certain parts out. Like the part where God kills everyone on Earth. The Earth had grown too wicked, He said. So He did it. He wiped out everything and hoped that the second time through things would be better.

But in the end, the world was just as wicked. Just as cruel. And God saw his mistake (yes! In the Bible God makes mistakes!) and swore to never do it again. Instead he sent prophets -- superheroes of sorts -- to try and lead the people to a better world. It didn't always work. And the prophets were far from perfect. Those men and women made mistakes, faltered, and built evil satellites (well, maybe not the last one). But despite their flaws they fought every step of the way to bring about a better world.

They knew that when things get bad, you don't give up and wipe everything away and pretend that it never happened. That's a slap in the face to those who died for the cause (like a certain Blue Beetle I remember).

What you do do is fight. You fight like hell to make it better. That's a message that more people in the real world should take to heart. It's one that Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and the others should, too. And they will. They'll fight like hell to make their world a better place.

Because that's what heroes do.


At 3:10 PM, Blogger kalinara said...

I think some of it's just longing for days when things seemed simpler too. When *they* were the target audience of the comics they loved. When the characters they loved graced the pages.

Really though, things are destined to change and grow. Crisis was a good thing for that, and eventually things are going to change again (though hopefully not yet another full on reboot. Superman/Batman/Wonder Woman's origin stories have been told enough).

*shrug* I feel sorry for them though, it's got to be hard when the things you love have grown and left you behind.


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