Metaphysics of Superheroes?


Let’s, just for fun, posit a scenario wherein we find our world inexorably changed into a world like that of DC comic, Marvel comics, or My Hero Academia. In Superhero stories it’s common to distinguish between individuals whose powers draw from within their own natures, such as Superman, Hulk, and Wolverine, and those who draw their powers from external forces spiritual forces (i.e. magic or miracles), such as Zatanna, John Constantine, and the Spectre. Even then, of there are those who somewhat blur the boundaries of these two types, with their powers being fully within their own natures but drawing the mechanical energy needed to preform their feats from metabolizing external or internal vital forces (be it the Taoic 氣, the Dharmic चक्र, the Jewish Ruach, etc). IF such non-magical powers were to actually be discovered to exist, what insights could Thomistic, Neoscholastic, Augustinian, Palamist, etc. philosophies provide into their natures.

What would those philosophies tell us of about those non-magic vital energy metabolizing superheroes?

Also, Grant Morrison identified the patron deity of the Superhero as Hermes, Mercurius, Gaṇeśa, Thoth, Nabu, Papa Legba, Ogma, and Óðinn. What do you think the patron saint(s) of Superheroes would be, and why? If we carried the Morrisonian theme further I’d suggest Saint Paul of Tarsus (Acts 14:11-13), but I’d like some better input (since I know little to nothing of saints).

If you aren’t Catholic or Orthodox (i.e., Lutheran, Muslim, Hindu, Atheist, etc.), you are equally welcome to post what you think other philosophies (such as Lutheran scholasticism, Ashʿari, Averroism, Vaiśeṣika-darśana, or Objectivism), might provide to understanding the natures of such persons in such a hypothetical scenario.

We can get as specific as y’all want. :slight_smile:


Would these powers or energies be natural or divine?


Preferably natural.

But if you’d like to take a crack at divine powers like wielded by the Spectre or Mister Miracle you are welcome to do so.


Evolution. I would see those powers as an evolution of biological defensive mechanisms.


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