In the past ten years or more, there has come a big ol' slug of "super-hero" movies. It seems that there is no practical end to these things. It has been (in my opinion) a mistake for the movie industry to "forget" themselves, and further, the super-hero motif has helped them to "remember". So, if that is true, then it is over-all a wholesome development I think.
It's a bit like those cd's which took over the music universe 20 or 30 years ago. Just about zero "hiss" (remember cassettes?) in the background, no "popping" (like l.p. music) to interfere! Pure signal, nil noise...except that blasted noise of crip-crap! Gangsta-guck, wherein sociopaths maunder on about rape, pillage, and murder does not qualify as music. And worse, they don't even do us the dignity of singing their stupid misery, they cadence-talk it? In all the techno-advance, did somebody over in production land "forget" that music was intended to be, well; musical?
Similarly, the movie "industry" seemed to have absolutely nailed "technique", with all the dumb c.g.i. effects, and pointless 3-D junk, it seemed for awhile like: "Heck, we don't need no stunt men, we don't even need actors!" Remember when Max Headroom was "inevitable"? We got flawless, seamless reality-like scenes,...except for one teensy factoid. These movie guys kept "forgetting" that they are in the business of telling stories! No amount of faked stunts, or "life-like" action can make up for the gross lack of a story-line! We end up with non-musical music, but professionally recorded, with zero background hiss? We get non-storied drama, yet; as such, seamlessly filmed? So, to sum up a bit, the super-hero genre has been very good for those blockheads in Hollywood, in that it allows them to begin to tell stories again, and if you are in the business of telling stories, it might be nice to have one to tell?
The western civ idea of things, is to posit a "regular Joe" of whom great things are expected. He, (the Joe) by the rules of "story" must defeat, or must achieve. It is all done against opposition, and with the odds stacked against, he prevails. "Powers" can be just about anything in movie-land, but that is a type of license taken with story per se. I mean, who would want to be able to zip around and burst into flame anyhow? Who would want to shape-shift into an animal, or read minds? So there are officially recognized powers and bogus ones. Bogusosity of powers here is not really that serious of a crime in that they are used in the narratives to "expand" the theme. The theme survives, even if the scriptwriter is unable to detect real powers from fraud.
The great thing about super-powers is that just about everybody would like one! So, storytellers have an automatic "in" with the audience. If you could secure a "power" what might it be? I am fairly sure, that flying would be fun (at least for awhile), and possessing super strength would be impressive to some, although it might be tough to figure out just what to do with it;...with such strength I mean. You could, we suppose; work at a tire store, and lift up the cars rather than having the employees there, wasting all their time playing with hydraulic lifts? Or take x-ray vision for example, what (precisely) are you searching for, if you are busy seeing-through everything? Seeing through, and looking at, where does said "x-ray-ian" viewing leave off I should like to know...
The west, it appears to me, is rooted in a scriptural view of story, committed to the "Joe", his struggle, and it is also here, that we find the idea of "powers". No leaping of tall buildings in a single bound, no invisibility, nor mutations for us to see here. Rather, we are looking at worlds colliding, of powers of one age contrasting with those of the coming one.
If we peer into scripture, we get a deeply weird grasp of such "powers". Tremendous strength, talking to food (such that it "multiplies"), long range sight, being a military genius (with no previous training), telling the future (with no crystal ball), dreaming and it's interpretation, and in the Bible, there are a whole bunch of "powers" we hardly recall. Jesus walks on water, Phillip walks through thin air, people are healed by touch, and/or by a word. Death is reversed, and the weirdest kind of powers are moral and ethical reversals, in mere listeners! Haters become lovers, cowards become lions, crooks become givers. The dead stand up, and the living fall dead.
The Hero, the real One, is foretold from the borders of Eden. Right after the high treason of the garden, the Messiah is foretold. Through the pictures, through the warnings, examples and types in the O.T., we await the Coming One. Finally, the Guy shows up; and guess what? The One we've been anticipating for millennia has a message! And what, pray tell; is that oh-so-terribly important message? And it is deeply odd, entirely unsuspected. It runs along these lines, and although not quoting here, we get something like; "Go back, rethink everything! Re-prioritize your entire view! "Why?", you ask? Because (I tell you) that golden age you have been awaiting, that era wherein life is good, and things make sense, is come!". And we collectively say, "Huh? Where?". That "world-age", that era of peace and of plenty of which the whole earth has been long awaiting...arrived! Really? How come I don't see it? How can a golden age show up, and nobody notice?
The Hero isn't busy "convincing" us so much of His message, as demonstrating it! He shouts at the weather? And it "listens"? He walks through walls? Busting up perfectly good funerals, ruining the wheelchair franchise, He is transforming lives, bringing honesty into corrupt hearts, He is feeding the hungry, refreshing the exhausted, and teaching the simple. But weirdest of all, He is making you into His "spittin' image"? The powers of the age to come are ... uhm beginning to "manifest"(?), and in the most unlikely spots! Children of this age have been "claimed" by the Lord of Ages (Himself!), and that coming-age (which is not-yet), is yet begun! The Kingdom is at-hand. Uhm, how could we tell that? The King (Himself!) has come, and so, by definition, His domain follows.
We think of things backwards. We demand to know first, and so to believe. He says "Nix". The reality is that we believe-unto knowing. We demand a world rebuilt prior to trusting the King of the realm. He says "Nope". We trust the "low-king", and He rebuilds the world from the inside out! Pssst, this is where you come in. The first item on the agenda of rebooting reality was your sad-silly heart. Like a yeast, which grows from in-to-out, the basic premise is a living solution, a life-based, heart answer. We keep requiring Him to "fix" reality first, and then after that is done to our satisfaction, we might stoop to trust His craftsmanship? Maybe? We keep wanting the outside (world) fixed first, and that fresh world moving inward to our broken selves. He says "No dice gringo". He begins with massive heart surgery, and you (shockingly) become His agent of new life into the little world you inhabit. The powers of the age to come, are beginning to manifest! Purely? No. Completely? Not at all. But certain-enough they are; those shockingly fierce-loyal little lions of the age to come, have already begun to growl. Those eyes alight with an unkillable gladness, have lately started glowing somewhat...
He is making us like them that have gone on ahead of us. So, like them; lose "the second thoughts"already; ditch the "fears and doubts", shed the gutless foot-dragging and finger pointing. Those ahead of us "prove" that we don't require such miserable baggage. Them that have died, have died to this age, and all it's sad, pointless futility. They have died to bureaucracy, perished to "carefulness", already they are alight, even now they are roaring! He is making us (on earth), like them (in heaven), His "will" indeed, is being done! But mainly; but mostly, but certainty of certainty, He is making us...like Him!
Eyes like fire, feet as burnished bronze, face like the sun shining in all her strength. He is breaking into our dumb little prisons, Furnishing our lives with clean air, deep clarity, and focused sanity. He, breaking-in; is busy. He "let's us out"!
The ultimate super-power (in us), may well be, us having the new sense to walk out of our old prisons. Freedom was the gift, life was the means, forgiveness the method.
He's so good, it's scary!