I've enjoyed some of the recent superhero movies, but never been a big follower of the genre. Like horror (which I don't often love, but seem to be writing more lately), the genre seems rife with pitfalls, the most glaring of which is the tendency of the characters to play a wish-fulfilling role. Superheroes are surrogates for our own wish to be more powerful players in our world. I suppose there's nothing inherently wrong with that, but the mechanisms they chose to change things - usually vigilante violence - are often, at best, problematic.
I wonder if superheroes are particularly attractive to people dwelling in a democratic society, which (in theory) suppresses the ability of the individual to control others, rendering one person's desires subordinate to collective will? In a fascist society, what need do you have for superheroes? All you have to do is climb to the top of the hierarchy and you can do whatever you want to everyone.
That's the problem I have with most superheroes. They seem to believe their anger and specialness gives them the authority to run things to their liking. It's easy to cover that kind of non-democratic thinking with platitudes like "with great power comes great responsibility." But... responsibility to do what? Whatever you think is best? Frankly, I'd rather Superman address the problem of global economic disparity than bust a few muggers on the streets of Metropolis. But I don't get a vote.
Anyway, I never thought I'd write a superhero story, until I saw Meerkat Press's call for submissions for an anthology of stories that go Behind the Mask. I only had a few days to crank out something, but in the magical and vexing way the mind works, I had an Idea, and the next thing I knew I was struggling to keep the story from stretching past the 6000 word limit. The story touches on some of the ideas above: can superheroes be trusted with our best interests? Would the world be better off without them?
Now it's off to be read by an editor, and as usual I just wait to see if someone likes it or not.