Superheroes are part of the human psyche, according to Joseph Campbell, the American mythologist, author, and university professor. Ancient civilizations had a superhero fetish, so they turned them into gods. Campbell liked to say, “the opportunity to find deeper powers within the self comes to the surface through superheroes.” Superheroes reflect super humanistic qualities, but they also represent the flaws in humanity. Our modern superheroes are the Greek gods of this century. We do all we can to protect them from being what we call normal in this world of cookie-cutter sameness. Plus, we want to live large and save the world from the evils that develop from the negative energy that circles the planet. We look at Batman as the ultimate police officer, and Superman is the relentless fireman. Superheroes pass no judgment, and they do not conform to a particular agenda. They save people from themselves and the choices they make.
The Caped Crusaders of this century have superhuman talents. We want them to conquer what we can’t conquer. Superman came on the scene in the 1930s, right before the storm of a World War. In the early Superman comics, the Caped Crusader fought the Nazis, and he was the avenger who gave the Japanese a taste of their own medicine after Pearl Harbor. It’s no wonder Superhero caps for adults became a symbol of super strength and deep-rooted convictions. When America was facing the Vietnam War and Watergate in the 1960s, Batman became a superhero in tights. The TV Batman got the job done, but he didn’t take his job as seriously as Superman did in the 1940s.
The resurgence of Captain America and the dawn of the Avengers was an answer to the 9/11 attack. Captain America was more than 50 years old when the planes hit the World Trade Center, but age doesn’t matter in the Superhero world. That’s why men and women visit capes.com. Men and women of all ages visit that website so they can own a piece of a superhero costume and feel the rush of being more than the average Jack and Jill. Capes have a therapeutic quality as well as hidden psychological attributes that put the mind at ease. Wearing favorite superhero capes for adults pushes the boundaries of sanity, and it gives people a sense they can save the world on their terms.
There is a superhero living in the shadows of the human psyche. And when that aspect of the human personality comes out, we celebrate and live in the inner world of myths and fantasies. And we find an element of peace in our quest to be the Superhero who leaves no stone unturned and leaves no man or women behind. Wearing a cape and tights on Halloween or at a party is a personal victory. We cross the barrier of gravity and common sense and dive into the world of our ancestors. As Joseph Campbell once said, “the big question is whether we can say a hearty yes to our Superhero adventure.” And most folks answer that question the right way.