When the idea of “superheroes” first became a mainstream buzzword, it was in response to the growing popularity of the superhero genre and a desire to create more diverse casts.
The term has since spread like wildfire, and it has taken over the country.
And while we may have had our share of superpowers before, it seems like the superpowers that have come to dominate the media landscape are those that are rooted in a certain type of masculinity.
It’s not just that there are so many superpowers out there.
It is that the kinds of powers we get to experience in these media worlds have come from a certain set of male characters.
It may be a small number of male superheroes, but that kind of dominance is very much part of the mainstream superhero genre, and the superhero stories are very much predicated on that.
And yet, the term “superman” seems to be coming back to prominence because of this.
It’s a new definition of a “super-human” to use, one that is not limited to one particular set of superheroes.
And because of that, it’s becoming a very popular, mainstream term.
But it’s not the only term being used.
“The ‘superman’ concept of a superhero is a very masculine one.
But it’s very, very different from the ‘man-in-suit’ term,” said Chris Hedges, a columnist for the New York Post and author of the popular book “The Man in the Suit.”
“It’s not a costume; it’s a body,” he added.
“There’s nothing to it.
It isn’t a costume.
It feels like a body.”
For Hedges and others, the superhero trope is not just about superheroic bodies, but also the role that those bodies play in our lives.
“The superman is the guy who comes to your house and gives you a ride, the guy you love.
And he is the one who makes you laugh,” Hedges said.
“But in the real world, the superman may have a wife, he may have children, and he may even have an extended family.
The difference is that he’s not in the movie business anymore.”
In some ways, the Superman trope is a way to define what we think of as masculinity.
“In this culture, we often associate masculinity with being able to fight, and there’s a tendency to say, ‘You’re not as strong as you think you are,'” Hedges explained.
“So in that sense, the idea that you can be a man-in, or that you’re strong, but not necessarily in a way that makes you feel like a man, that’s a really powerful idea.”
When you think of a male superhero, you often think of Superman, who is often described as a “man-of-steel,” who is the ultimate defender of the world.
The truth is, however, that the Superman we are familiar with is not really the same Superman that people think of.
“A lot of the people who think of the Superman that’s so iconic are those who have read the original Superman,” Hedys said.
“In the early days, he was just a man with super powers.”
But the way that Superman is defined in the comics has changed, and in the past few decades, the world has become more and more diverse.
And it’s no surprise that many of the male characters that have become popular in the media are those with darker, more “masculine” characteristics.
“There are a lot of things that are considered feminine in the modern superhero comics,” Hedes said.
It’s often because the heroes are female, Hedges continued.
“It’s so much easier to see what you’re going to be fighting against, and I think that’s really important to a lot.
Because if you can see what your character is going to face, then you’re less likely to feel that you have to be that person.”
So, in a world where we are increasingly more aware of the ways that the media shapes our perceptions of ourselves, we may be seeing a resurgence of the term.
And, while it may not be the only one, the popularity of “man in suit” may help explain why so many people are using the term to describe their heroes.
“I think the superhero is an extension of a certain masculinity,” Hedgs added.
“The more masculine you are, the more masculine the superhero.
It really seems to have this big connotation in the zeitgeist, that masculinity has been normalized and the super is a symbol of empowerment.”
For now, it remains to be seen if this is just the beginning of the “super hero” trend.
And the future may well have more to do with how we define and celebrate masculinity in the 21st century than superheroes themselves.
Follow Amy on Twitter: @amyb