Why Superheroes Are Popular

July 21, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. flawed [flawd] (adj.) – having a weakness or mistake; imperfect
Example Humans are flawed with some unwanted characteristics.

2. cynical [SIN-i-kuh l] (adj.) – believing that people are dishonest and selfish; having a negative view towards people or things
Example: The various crimes reported everyday made Lois cynical.

3. look down on [loo k doun on] (phrasal v.) – to consider someone or something as unimportant or having no value
Example: Peter's high school classmates looked down on him because he was shy and weak.

4. mayhem [MEY-hem, MEY-uh m] (n.) – a state of confusion and disorder, often with violence
Example: The villain in the movie caused mayhem in the city after making some bomb threats.

5. journalist [JUR-nl-ist] (n.) – a person who collects and writes news stories for newspapers, magazines, TV, etc.
ExampleJournalists were eager to discover the real identity of the fireman who rescued kids in the school.


Read the text below.
Superhero movies becoming box office hits show how people have been admiring superheroes throughout the years.

According to experts, the lasting popularity of superheroes resulted to the ability to change through time. Superheroes also appeal to people because of being flawed despite being superhuman. People could therefore relate to superheroes more easily.

Superheroes change in order to meet people's needs for a particular time. For example, Superman was created right before World War II. Its creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster were Jews, which made Superman somewhat a Jewish superhero who fought the Nazis. Coming from a strange land, Superman went to the U.S., learned the ways of Americans, and eventually became someone great.

However, the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal made people cynical about superheroes. For a while, people looked down on comics that featured noble, pure-hearted superheroes.

After a while, the 9/11 tragedy struck and the world was again divided into good and evil. The 2008 economic collapse followed, adding to the mayhem. Thus, people longed for hope and comfort, making superheroes such as Captain America, Batman, and Superman become popular again. Captain America was even shown helping people out from the debris of the World Trade Center.

After the said comeback, superheroes' stories exhibited different changes. In some cases, the change is not only in the challenges superheroes face but also in their day jobs. For instance, Clark Kent, who used to be a newspaper journalist, is now a blogger in the new Superman movie, Man of Steel.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you agree with the reasons stated in the article on why superheroes have been popular through the years? Why or why not?
·         What other factors not mentioned in the article do you think contribute to superheroes’ popularity? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
·         Who do you think is a real-life superhero? Why do you say so?


July 21, 2013