The 21st Century Super Heroes

Hollywood has been increasingly taken over by the super hero genre as the financiers have found that the super hero action figures franchise is more valuable than the movies' box office revenues. In fact one could make the case that the the Super Hero movies merely are commercials to get the super hero franchise business thriving. 

With the re-boot of the Spider man movies, welcoming the Spider-man into the Marvel universe, I went back to see the Tobie McGuire version of Spider man movies. I was stuck by Spider Man's selflessness in giving up his love for the sake of fulfilling his responsibility towards saving innocent souls from evil. 

In the Tobie McGuire trilogy, Peter Parker, Spider-man's secret alter ego, finally ends up with a fulfilling loving relationship with his girl friend in in the 3rd movie, Hollywood style! However, in the original comics, Peter Parker looses his girlfriend in one of his fights against evil. His super human power not withstanding she dies.

Hollywood has hand-picked Super Heroes with romantic interests. Sometimes the screenwriters even twists the original comic book plots to create a romantic angle for super heroes. However, in the original comics, most super heroes  live loveless lives. The lack of romantic possibilities may not be surprising after all - it is difficult to find someone co-equal who can captivate and hold the interest of the super heroes. They are drawn by a different principle of love - the love of the oppressed of the world. For these super heroes, giving up one's desire or romantic love is a price to pay for saving the under-served, the marginalized and those falling through the cracks in the world.

As I was thinking about this, I realized that there is an amazing parallel between the comic book super hero's  self transcending love life and modern missionaries, especially women missionaries. Mission organization that are based in Western countries have a very disproportionately high number of single women than single men (the reasons for why this is so is beyond the scope of this article). This leads to a significant portion of women missionaries ending up spinsters.

A significant portion of single women missionaries end up having to give up the desire for the romantic love. This is hard because our society places such premium value on romantic love. But still they cannot help but be in the mission field because they realize, like Peter Parker of the comic books, that with great power comes great responsibility towards the marginalized, as in say Mother Teresa. Gospel cultures, which are love and care based, are built on the backs of such pioneering super heroes giving up their deepest desires to fulfill higher dreams of self transcending love, serving the under-served, making these modern single women missionaries the true super heroes of the 21st century.