Are heroes born or are they made?

7 Answers

  • Ian
    Lv 4
    3 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I must say, I think this is one of the greatest single questions I have ever seen in the comics and animation category. It ranks up there with John Woo’s question about why we relate to comic book super heroes.

    Well, to answer this properly, we must look at what makes a hero, how heroes come into being and why some people become heroes. These are not all just ways of saying the same thing differently.

    Let’s start with how heroes come into being. The classic saying is that some are born great (like Superman or Thor) some achieve greatness (like Batman or Iron Man) and some have greatness thrust upon them (like Green Lantern or Spider Man.) Most of us, not having been born great and not disciplined enough to achieve greatness, are still waiting for Option Number 3.

    But what makes a hero? There have been people throughout history who have been blessed from birth with great gifts and inherent talent. We tend to call them child prodigies, especially in the fields of music art or math. However some have used their natural gifts to dominate and exert cruelty on others.

    All right, then. Why do some people become heroes while others become psychopaths and murderers? It has to do with their moral character.

    Granted, there is such a thing as an anti-hero. And there are some people who insist that they have to have their heroes with flaws; that they have to go into a berserker rage, or have some weakness, or self-doubts, to be able to relate to them. But that reminds me a little bit of Lex Luthor, when one of his underlings discovered that Clark Kent was Superman. When she told Luthor, he refused to believe it. Why? Because Luthor could never hide that kind of power! If he had the power, he’d use it to take over and rule! (the way he thought he SHOULD.) He thought that someone like Superman could never hide in the identity of a normal, ordinary man, putting his pants on one foot at a time and obeying the speed limit like everybody else. Luthor was judging in terms of his own weaknesses.

    This is why, when I compare Superman to Thor, I find Superman just a little bit more heroic. Superman does not have the memory of being worshipped as a god and a tradition of a royal family (which I fend pretentious) to uphold. When Lois met Clark, in the comics, she mocked him as a Boy Scout. But it was that personality, that unfailing goodness and kindness that she eventually fell in love with and decided that she wanted to spend the rest of her life with, not the super powers. And, presto! She got that into the bargain as well.

    This is why, when I compare Batman to Iron Man, I find Batman just a little bit more heroic. Tony Stark was dying from a shrapnel wound to his heart when he made the first Iron Man armor. He did it to save his own life, not others. Bruce Wayne swore NOT ONLY to find the one that killed his parents, but also declared war on all crime and all criminals everywhere. He did it to prevent crime, to protect others from becoming victims of crime… to spare other children suffering-- as HE had suffered…!

    This is why, when I compare Green Lantern to Spider man, I find Green Lantern just a little bit more heroic. Peter Parker did well, very well, with his bit of good fortune. Given that Marvel wanted to show a teenage hero with all the hangups and problems of youth, they portrayed the character accurately. (Though, sometimes, I am afraid, they encouraged self-pity and morbid introspection in an entire generation of youth who did not get such powers—that is to say, the vast majority of them—because that was the one way in which they COULD emulate Peter Parker.) In contrast, when Abin Sur knew he was dying, and commanded his Power Ring to find one who was suitable as a replacement, he gave it two commands. We all know the second one—that he must be without fear. But have we forgotten the first criteria that Abin Sur named, that he must be totally honest…?

    My heart breaks when I think of the way DC treated Hal Jordan, making him into a villain. (I didn’t mean to go off on a tangent. But you will see, in a moment, how this fits in.)

    So, are heroes born or made? A true hero may be born with certain gifts, talents or abilities. But those are not what makes him a hero. A hero may get training from the best teachers, as Luke Skywalker got training from Obi Wan Kenobi. But in the end, it is what they choose to do, how they respond under pressure.

    It is like the Rudyard Kipling poem, ‘If’. “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you…” That touches on many of the moral qualities that make a hero.

    Finally, how does a hero deal with failure? If it is a moral failure, the hero may have lost a good deal of stature, and public trust. Just as we have seen public leaders caught in flagrant moral wrong and then come up with some blather about how they were abused or addicted or under pressure-- but it’s okay because they are sorry and they are going into treatment for it, starting tomorrow!

    A hero takes his licking and goes back to doing what he was supposed to be doing in the first place.

    We all fail. Even when we give our best efforts, sometimes we fail. And we all die, eventually. How do we face the final enemy? How does a hero face it?

    If a hero must die, he gives his life in a worthy cause. He strives to his last breath, knowing that even if he does not save the day, he will have done his best. Who knows? His efforts may give the next hero the stepping stone from which to succeed. This is the attitude of many of our real life heroes, the police and firefighters and military: complete the mission.

    So, I guess you understand by now, what I’m saying. A person CHOOSES to be a hero, and keeps on keeping on, and keeps on getting up again when he’s knocked down. Even when he’s given no credit for what he accomplishes. Even when his enemies publicly detract from his reputation. These are the kinds of heroism we all admire.

    What’s more, this is the kind of heroism we can all achieve, even without super powers.

    Be a hero, today!

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  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    That's a good question. I don't really know to be honest. I've heard some people say they're born and some say the're made. I always thought i myself would be scared if someone ever pointed a gun at me, but then when i finally did have guns pointed at me ; i was mad not scared. And the more i was threatened, the angrier i got. Some people say i'm brave , but i'm not so sure, i actually think i'm foolish for not being fearful of danger because fear usually causes a person to back out of a dangerous situation that would otherwise escalate if you had remained. However , i tend to have a habit for being attracted to danger. And the more dangerous a situation gets ; the more i hang around. Not the healthiest of habits. But that's me & that is my personal destiny. So my advice to you is ; live your life in peace and happiness & try to stay out of trouble.

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  • Heroes happen by accident.

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  • 3 years ago


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  • 3 years ago


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  • 3 years ago

    They are chosen...The Chosen One.

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  • 3 years ago


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