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Last updateFri, 27 Nov 2020 10am

Superheroes and why we need them

These days there seems to be a run on superheroes – creatures of extraordinary powers and bold and courageous actions wearing Halloween costumes.

They appear mostly in American movies, video games and car dealerships. They generally represent good vs. today’s current evil. Judging from the successes of the movies and games that depict them, there’s an unflagging, world-wide hunger for creatures of super strength, super speed, near invulnerability, regenerative power, sharpened senses, shape-shifting, telepathy, flight, atomic vision, super hearing and bulging tight pants.

But notably, the first American superhero was a Mexican. No, not Chipotleman or SuperKatrina. one hundred years ago this week, the first superhero movie hit the theaters:  Zorro.

Zorro, a character from an U.S. short story, became the subject of a hit silent film starring Douglas Fairbanks in 1920. The flick went on to become one of the biggest cinematic franchises of all time. Zorro went on to influence the American superhero tradition as model for characters such as Batman, the Lone Ranger and every 12-year-old who was ever bullied.

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