In recent years, Hollywood superhero movies have been incredibly popular, with several new blockbuster titles coming to screens every year. The obsession speaks of a psychological need – as we feel helpless in the face of the world, we imagine heroes will rise to the occasion and let justice be done.

However, superpowers are neutral: both superheroes and supervillains possess them. True, the superheroes on the screen will always defeat the supervillains and save humanity against the odds. The audience demands it. In the real world, there’s no guarantee the good guy will be the last one standing. History is full of tyrants and wrongdoers with exceptional gifts of energy, courage and intelligence. The notion that good always wins is perhaps nothing more than wishful thinking. For if this notion is true, injustice is then transient; and since justice will eventually be done, there is surely no demand for superheroes to avenge us.

And while the vulnerable and powerless part of us might cry out for a superpower, we’re also suspicious. The worry that these powers will be abused is something that this modern crop of action movies is keen to explore.

But these thrilling characters are not found in Chinese folklore and legends. What you might find in traditional Chinese culture are stories of eccentrics, which largely appeared in ancient works like the Unique Records of the Marvels by Tang dynasty philosopher Li Rong; the Extensive Records of the Taiping Era by Li Fang and other Song dynasty scholars; and Wang Shizeng’s Legends of Swordsmen, dating back to the Ming dynasty. Most of the eccentrics in these stories have three common characteristics. First, their somehow supernatural powers were obtained from celestial beings, Buddhist monks and Taoist sages. Second, instead of fulfilling the great aspiration of saving the world, their powers were mostly used for helping the poor and deprived individuals. Third, the hero only appears in only one or two tales – no ‘franchises’ here.

Why does traditional Chinese culture lack more tales of superheroes? Here’s a quick guess: the Chinese do not believe that injustice can be eliminated by a superman. As evil stems from the heart, only the moral teachings of the sages are the true cure that can lead the world to justice. One might say that in Chinese tradition, it is the sages who are the superheroes.

近年荷李的活 超級英雄電影大受歡迎,每年都會推出幾部,賣座的,居多 這反映出很多人對超能力和英雄的,著迷 而這種著迷背後有其心理需。要 世上有太多不公義的,事 令我們感到無力和無助,只能想像有英雄義士挺身而出,警惡懲奸。

可是,超能力本身是中性的;不但好人可以有超能力,壞人也可以有。電在 影裡,除了有拯救世界的超級英雄,往往也有邪惡的超級壞。蛋 當然,為了滿足觀眾的心理需要,電影裡的超級英雄最終都會打敗超級壞,救蛋 拯 人類,化險為夷。,然而假如世上真有超能力這回事,誰又能保證最終勝利的,一定是正義之師而非邪惡狂徒?史歷 上不少暴君與為非作歹之徒,他們都有過人的、精力 勇氣和智力。有些人相信「邪不能勝正,」 這是一個十分正的面 信念,卻恐怕只廂;是一 情願 因為假如這信念是正確的,那麼不正義的事就只是暫時的,正義始終會得到伸張,而我們也許根本不覺得需要有超級英雄來主持公道了。

更有趣的是,勢孤力弱的人固然渴望有能力超乎常人的英雄前來打救,然而我們也同時對這種力量有保留懷,和 疑 擔心 會被濫。用 這種擔心成了近年很多超級英雄電影探討的。主題

我們現在看眉得 飛色舞的超級英雄故事,全都是舶來品;至於中國民間故事和傳,沒說 都 有這種超級英雄。傳中國 統文化當然有一些奇人異士的故事,只要翻看唐代李的冗撰 《獨異志》、李宋代 昉等編著的平《太 廣記》與明朝王世貞所編的《劍俠傳》等古就籍, 會發現有不少這一類的記載。故事中的奇人異士大多有以下的共通點:、一 他們的異能都來自神僧,仙 道 有超自然成份;、二 他們運用能力,主要是幫人渡過難關,或在鄉里間鋤扶,沒強 弱 並 有拯救天下蒼生的宏大抱負;、三 個別的奇俠異人只有一兩個故事,不像西方的漫畫和電,影 發展出一系列互相的。關連 故事

為什麼傳中國 統文化沒有超級英雄的故事?這不容易解釋,需要深入的研究這,裡我只提能 出一個粗略的:猜想 中國人不相信世上的不公義可過以透 少數擁有超能力的人來消除。因為問題出在人心,擁有超能力的人只可以治標,不能治本;能夠方這個世界變得公義的,只有聖人的道德教。化或者可以這樣說,在中國傳,統裡 聖人才是真正的超級英雄。

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