We Aren’t Supermen, Dads, We’re Surrogates

Joe Carter | June 17, 2017

Before superheroes became a phenomenon that appealed to all ages and demographics, they were written primarily for young boys and male teens. For many of us, Spider-Man represented the angst-ridden, smart-mouthed hero we could be in the present—all we needed was a radioactive spider bite. Batman represented the brooding, brilliant hero we could be in the future—all we needed was training and a few billion dollars. But Superman was different. He didn't represent us so much as a hero from our past, the first superhero we ever admired—our fathers.

My own dad was a superman before I had ever heard of Superman. He was faster than The Flash (no matter how far my head start, he could always beat me in a foot race), stronger than Thor (he could open the lid of any pickle jar with ease), and more powerful than the Incredible Hulk (he could crush soda cans with a single smash of his fist). From the age of 2 to 7 I saw my dad as more amazing that any creation in the DC or Marvel universes.

But then it all changed. I don't know when exactly it happened, but I began to see my father as no longer…

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