Superheroes Conquer Reality If you’re in any way affiliated with the University of the Philippines Diliman,often abbreviated as UPD, then perhaps you are familiar with Zorro. Zorro is UPD’ssuperhero, who has been regarded for his unconventional behavior. Some say he’s not inhis right mind, those who know him say, he is just different. His difference has its way ofsaving the day just as the real ones have, because of his ability to involve himself inrelevant social issues of the country, as he attempts to conquer them trough his ownprinciples that only he can understand. Ironically speaking, UP students look up to himdespite that. This practically shows how superheroes have come to be imagined and howhumans have come to interpret the very essence of the word. Indeed, being a superhero is an unconscious celebration of possibilities, the beliefthat there is a greater power that can take people out of their miseries, where evil cannotconquer. This is an idea indoctrinated by DC Comics and Marvel, whose superherocharacters stand distinct from each other with their own unique powers to save the day.Such idea may be a cliché, but it wouldn’t be if not for its popularity among its avidreaders and how such state of mind has been passed on through the years. DC comics and its competitor Marvel are American comic books founded in the1930’s when the United States was under the period of The Great Depression due to itseconomic turmoil that had an impact worldwide. That makes approximately sevendecades of superheroes taking on satirical roles in realizing the imperfect world wherehumans live. That’s when “superhero” became an imagined concept that led people,especially the young ones, to translate this into reality that there are those who have theinnate power to provide solutions to every problem – those who are powerful enough totake them out from every unfortunate condition. These two comic books embraced its very concept that the term superheroesbecame their trademark – superhero trademark, that no other companies could utilizeit, unless used informally and not to promote any product. Consequently, this term hasnot been exclusive in America alone but even in different countries like the Philippines. Although Philippine Komiks (Taga-lized term for comics; Tagalog is a nativeFilipino Language) featured its very culture through characters from the traditionalfolklores since its first publication in the 1920’s, it was later on influenced by DCComics and Marvel having prototypes of the American superheroes like Kulafu and Og(Tarzan), Darna (Shazam!), and D. I. Trece (Dick Tracy) (Lent, J.A. 2009). This not only proves how American culture has been openly embraced since, butit also showed that Filipinos also needed refuge because they too had their own crises todeal with. Foremost, this also somehow substantiates that superheroes have come to beknown in different parts of the world and are adopted according to the distinct cultures ofevery country through comic books namely, the European Comics, the famous Manga ofthe Japanese and various Asian comics, and many more. The creation of these comic books not only furthered art appreciation in itsliterary form, but its essence is also caught in creating a world that is very ideal with the
effort to counter the very ironies in reference to a rather painful reality. Thus, faith insuperheroes can be seen as a naïve attempt to escape from the nuisances brought by theveracities of life. This belief stays relatively true in different parts of the world until todayas superheroes are translated in many forms not only into the big screens but also inpolitical propagandas, campaign paraphernalia, and even by plainly absorbing it into theirown identities just as what Zorro had done.Reference:Lent, John A. (2009) The First One Hundred Years of Philippine Komiks and Cartoons. Boboy Yonzon.