Sometimes itâ€™s hard to be a super-hero. It takes a lot of effort to save the world from an endless stream of egomaniacal geniuses and swarms of planet marauding alien armadas! But what about the daily problems of human existenceâ€”hunger, disease, poverty, and equality? Shouldnâ€™tÂ super-heroes put some effort into confronting these problems as well?
Itâ€™s not like thereâ€™s no one on Earth â€œPrimeâ€ trying to take on these issues. A few weeks ago I had the privilege of attendingÂ TEDxChange 2010 at Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. At this event, some of the top thinkers about the human condition were discussing the progress of theÂ Millennium Development Goalsâ€”eight pressing issues facing humanity that need to be solved. The goals include ending poverty and hunger, ensuring universal education, promoting gender equality, improving child health, and combating HIV/Aids. These are the real problems that need real heroes. So, why donâ€™t the super-heroes of legend ever try to tackle these more pedestrian, but equally important issues?
Thatâ€™s the question posed in the recently releasedÂ The Worldâ€™s Greatest Heroes graphic novel from DC Comics. This collection of stories take the all stars of the DC Universeâ€”Superman, Batman, Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman and the Justice League of Americaâ€”and ask them to deal with some of the real issues of being human.