I’ve grown up reading.
And one thing I have always read is comics. Of course, I might have dropped them from time to time in order to be thought of as more mature….but they keep pulling my back in.
Now that I’m older and wiser (hopefully) things have started to change in the way I read. I’ve begun to notice things…especially certain trends.
Characters being killed such as Captain America and Batman, only to return (let us not forget the comic-world shaking death of Superman).
Characters becoming more hardcore and thus getting a new costume like the outrageous amount of Wolverine costumes; Batman getting darker, Daredevil going from yellow to red to armored back to red, and the atrocity that is Wonder Woman.
There is one trend that has been going on that seems to have its roots imbedded deep into comics:
The Orphan Hero.
Let’s see…Superman’s whole planet blew up (killing his parents, naturally), The most famous, really, is Batman witnessing his parents death. Daredevil. Spiderman. Anyone else lose their parents? Oh yeah, all of the Robins.
Now, I’ve tried to work this through – digging into my knowledge of myth and literature. But I can’t seem to find an origin for this. And I refuse to believe that Batman and Daredevil as superhero Oliver Twists.
The repercussions are obvious in the event of the parental loss the individual becomes a hero to make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else. But what is the reason?
Were comics always targeted to teenage boys? Maybe…the hero without parents, thus without anyone, as a role model for the alienated? I honestly don’t know.
I know it works. It makes the reader feel for the hero. Being an orphan makes the crusade almost believable.
Tell me, why must the Hero be born from this specific tragedy?