What defines a (super)hero?

Discuss the June 2017 Book of the Month, Superhighway by Alex Fayman. Superhighway is the first book in the Superhighway Trilogy, so feel free to use this forum to discuss not only the first book but also the other books in the series.

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What defines a (super)hero?

Post by hsimone » 08 Jun 2017, 01:11

I'm having a tough time thinking of Alex as a superhero. Yes, he has shared some of the millions he acquired with those who are poorer than him, but he has also spent millions on himself and the fact that he stole the money rubs me the wrong way.

It might be because I haven't watched many superhero movies or it might be because I keep thinking that Harry Potter is a hero who is so selfless, while Alex is pretty selfish.

So, I need help in understanding what qualities do you think define a hero and/or superhero? What is the difference between a hero and a superhero? Do you think that Alex is one versus the other? Why or why not?
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Post by abbeyystone » 08 Jun 2017, 02:11

Hero or superhero couldn't only defined as someone with powers and has the ability to form magics. If so, then magicians could be one of them. To be a hero doesn't requires the things that I had mentioned. Instead, even a simple and kind things that you do to help others is an example of a heroic act. People that leave footprints and succeed in their strifes can be consider as one.

-- 08 Jun 2017, 02:12 --

Hero or superhero couldn't only defined as someone with powers and has the ability to form magics. If so, then magicians could be one of them. To be a hero doesn't requires the things that I had mentioned. Instead, even a simple and kind things that you do to help others is an example of a heroic act. People that leave footprints and succeed in their strifes can be consider as one.

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Post by Amagine » 08 Jun 2017, 12:59

I view Alex as an anti-hero. He's an anti-hero because he is changing so many people's lives for the better with his charity and money. He has bad qualities though so that is why he's not your normal hero.

Even though he has a super ability, I don't view him as a superhero. I don't know why but when I think of a superhero, I think of someone who fights while using their super ability. Alex doesn't strike me as the fighting type.
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Post by CatInTheHat » 11 Jun 2017, 08:21

hsimone wrote:I'm having a tough time thinking of Alex as a superhero. Yes, he has shared some of the millions he acquired with those who are poorer than him, but he has also spent millions on himself and the fact that he stole the money rubs me the wrong way.

It might be because I haven't watched many superhero movies or it might be because I keep thinking that Harry Potter is a hero who is so selfless, while Alex is pretty selfish.

So, I need help in understanding what qualities do you think define a hero and/or superhero? What is the difference between a hero and a superhero? Do you think that Alex is one versus the other? Why or why not?
I wouldn't consider Alex a superhero either. To me a superhero is someone who uses their powers for good and is not selfish. They might use some of that money to keep themselves safe, such as investing in incredible security systems but they wouldn't be buying expensive cars, etc.
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Post by Gravy » 11 Jun 2017, 08:51

There are everyday heroes, those that make the world around them a little brighter for everyone. They are very much heroes in their own right.

But...

I think those who risk their lives to protect others, whatever those "others" may be, and however they may be risking their lives, are some of the greatest heroes.
This, for me, encompasses everything from your neighborhood fireman, to the soldier overseas. But also the people putting themselves between a whale and the person trying kill it...etc, etc.

Excellent question!
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Post by Jaime Lync » 11 Jun 2017, 17:54

I have never actually thought of Harry Potter as a hero until I read your post Hsimone. I have to agree with Gravy that there are everyday heroes out there that make the world go round - have you ever seen the Disney show called Higgley town heroes?- evryone who had a job was a hero.
I think that Alex is a hero because he gives huge donations to the needy. I think that some shows have led us to believe that heroes should not splurge on themselves. But heroes are allowed to be rich - look at Bruce Wayne - the guy is rolling in dough.

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Post by Shaddtheimpaler » 11 Jun 2017, 23:38

Alright, I'm really into superhero comics and most of the time whenever I read an issue of batman or spiderman it's not the wealth, the intelligence nor the fancy gadgets that defines them. It's the moral principle of doing what is right despite everything. Your hero can be selfish for the right reasons example Jason Todd who does not tolerate criminals and murders them for his own gain, Dick Grayson has a principle where you do not need to threaten them to know what you want and that kindness will soon pursue them, Tim Drake uses intelligence to outsmart the villains for his selfish manner and Lastly Damian Wayne likes to be a selfish brat but becomes unselfish if it is a necessity.

Your character can be a mixture of both like Deadpool a guy whose selfish and kills people but if necessary would save people.

-- 11 Jun 2017, 23:39 --

P.S. make him a mercenary like the Punisher

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Post by daniel juma » 12 Jun 2017, 03:32

being super hero is not just doing something usual but its indulging in a risky situation which involve saving once life or situation where one is credited for doing super natural event.there are ordinary heroes like harry potters in his post Hsimone

-- 12 Jun 2017, 03:40 --

having stolen the money is not an issue an in issue is what mind he has with the stolen money,when one stole money to help or for the purpose of helping one he is a hero cos he did it not for his selfish interest but to the interest of the others.Though most of the money he used for himself but the fact that he shares the money with less fortunate thant him indicates hi heroism

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Post by shish_by_design » 12 Jun 2017, 12:26

I think that a superhero is someone who will do for anything for those in need, even at the expense of their life. The methods may not be in accordance with the law or religion but as they say, "the end justifies the means". as long as they are not hurting others. Superheroes help anyone, not only the people they know. Superheroes also do not hold ones misgivings, like if they did something in the past and they asked for forgiveness, a superhero cant hold that mistake against them and refuse to help. They'll try to understand that person's reasons for doing what they did and help them without asking for anything in return.
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Post by Katherine Smith » 12 Jun 2017, 14:57

A hero can be anyone mortal or immortal while a superhero is a person with superhuman powers like flight. I believe that the difference between a hero and a superhero is the type of power that the have. I think of a superhero as someone like Iron Man or Superman. A hero is someone who donates their time or money to charity.
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Post by Miche Sora » 12 Jun 2017, 17:36

I don't think of Alex as a hero or a superhero. He has a super ability, yes, but he doesn't have the mentality of doing good to help others. His idea of doing good is to rob a Dutch mobster for his cash, spend a lot of it to impress people, and then it occurs to him that he should do good with the money he's stolen. He even says in the book that his robbing the mobster is vindicated by the fact that he's giving away some of the money. Not a superhero mentality as far as I'm concerned.
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Post by kdstrack » 12 Jun 2017, 19:36

I think a hero is someone who risks their life to help or save the lives of others without thinking of the cost or consequence to himself. Heroes often emerge in life and death situations, like the soldier who falls on the grenade to save his fellow comrades, or the mother who runs into the burning building to save her child.

A superhero is a fictional character who has special powers which he uses to help others, better society and further social justice.

A person who uses money to do good is simply a philanthropist. Donating money to worthy causes does not make you a hero since there is no risk involved, it is just something nice to do.

If you steal money and use it to do good, does that make you a hero? Do the ends justify the means? When a person starts to think that way, you can eventually justify any bad or criminal behavior. Even if you steal the money from a "bad" person and use it to do "good", does that diminish your crime of stealing? A true hero has morals principles that he lives by and uses to help people. If a "hero" has to back up his actions with felonious activities, he has stopped being a hero, no matter what he does with the money.

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Post by kandscreeley » 14 Jun 2017, 08:37

That's a tough question. I think a hero can be an ordinary person with flaws who transcends those flaws and does something brave that benefits someone else. In this view, Alex COULD be a hero, but I'm not sure that what he does can be considered brave. Is there really any risk to himself? A superhero is normally someone with very few flaws and also has super powers. Alex does have a superpower, but he still has flaws. So, I don't think I could define him as either. He's an ordinary guy who happens to have a special ability.
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Post by Donnavila Marie01 » 14 Jun 2017, 10:33

Many believe that heroes are ordinary people who did extraordinary things. I say everybody can be a hero. I can be a hero by helping the needy.
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Post by michelonline29 » 15 Jun 2017, 01:18

On my own opinion, a hero is someone who contributes good things to community. And, someone who helps the needy.
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