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Exploring DC Superhero Movies: What Makes a Great Hero?

Why do certain superhero movies personally and emotionally resonate with you? Sometimes the reasons are obvious: a great story, memorable characters, stellar performances, cool special effects and awesome direction.

Maybe you wish you could have the superhero’s powers? Sometimes, it’s harder to put a finger on exactly why a particular superhero captures the imagination while others are forgettable.

Superheroes use their extraordinary abilities to perform heroic deeds. Their struggle to overcome conflict should imbue something meaningful.

There are many different types of heroes. Some don’t fit neatly into a category but the building blocks of a superhero are universal patterns. Here are several qualities you might see in a superhero and what they tell us about the human condition:

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Justice League, Volume 1 Origin (The New 52) Review

Justice League, Volume 1 Origin (The New 52) Review

Note: If you don’t know which comic to start reading, check out this review.

Courtesy DC Comics

There’s a kinetic energy that flies off the first page and doesn’t let up until you’ve reached the back cover. Non-stop action, gorgeous artwork, and fun character interactions make this a highly recommended read especially for newcomers like myself to the series. Justice League Volume 1 Origin is part of DC Comics’ New 52, where all the series in their catalogue hit the reset button and start from ground zero. In ‘Origin’, Batman is just an urban legend, Superman is ‘that alien guy from Metropolis’, and the word superhero is not part of the cultural lexicon.

Written by Geoff Johns, the story starts off in Gotham City with Batman meeting Green Lantern for the first time as they investigate a mysterious alien creature that leaves behind a strange cube believed to be a computer of sorts. I really enjoyed the bold, hyper-confident, characterization of Green Lantern and his interactions with the dark, brooding Batman; his polar opposite in terms of personality. When Green Lantern discovers his new ally doesn’t have any super powers he blurts out, “You’re not just some guy in a bat costume are you? Are you freaking kidding me!?!” Not one to be underestimated, Batman finds a way to quickly disarm Green Lantern’s ring unnoticed. Then Batman holds out the ring to an unarmed Hal Jordan and asks “What’s this do?”, followed by a funny disparaging zinger (I won’t spoil it here).

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