Superheroes always seem to run up against the “super” problem—they’re stronger and faster than us, and they shoot lasers from their eye sockets or throw household items this way and that with powers of telekinesis. It’s can be a little hard to relate to superheroes. It’s much easier to see ourselves reflected in flawed, un-super individuals. Photographer Martin Beck’s project “We Can Be Heroes” paints portraits of “the folks who feel they didn’t quite make it at superhero school and are, like most of us, living their lives, doing their day-to-day chores, trying to live a happy life while providing for their loved ones.” Of course, they’re still wearing their tattered superhero costumes, still looking to be heroic even though they didn’t make the team. One of Martin’s messages is that “Despite our flaws and failures, each of us, in our own way, can be heroes to our family, our friends, our colleagues and we all have the potential to help others.”
Also, it looks funny when old people and fat people and pregnant people wear superhero costumes. It looks funny when Captain America chain-smokes and Iron Man eats junk food. That is definitely another piece of what’s going on here. For more on Martin’s project, visit facebook.com/WeCanBeHeroesMartinBeck.