pile of various comic books

Comic Book Movies: More Than Just Entertainment

How simple pleasures can mean a lot to those facing dark times

Mental health and wellbeingHobbies and Interests
By VoiceBox ·

Marios Stamos

Animal lover | Writer & dreamer | Mental health advocate | Neurodivergent & proud | Gardening enthusiast | Sunset enjoyer | Comic book reader

How One Of The Most Divisive Comic Book Movies Helped Me Fight Depression

Please note: this article includes sensitive topics that some people might find difficult. Please visit our Resources Page for help.

For more than a decade now, comics and especially comic book movies, have taken the world by storm. And while no one can deny the influence they have on pop culture, they've made the world a better place in more ways than most people realize. 

One of the most known instances was when Superman exposed Ku Klux Klan’s bigotry, codewords, and rituals in the 16-part episode from the 1940s radio serial Adventures of Superman. The serial's blow to the group's reputation was so severe that it resulted in a major decline in membership. After a while, people started attending Ku Klux Klan rallies just to mock them.

But on a smaller and more personal scale, they helped me during one of the darkest periods of my life.

One afternoon, I was cooped up under my bed sheets, wondering how much more I could take and if I should just let it all go. I was TV surfing, hoping to find something to take my mind off, and I came across the news that there was going to be a joint Batman and Superman movie. During that time period, I rarely felt anything else besides dread. But this put a smile on my face.

My brain power and my memory aren't what they used to be, as the constant battle with depression has taken its toll on me. But I still remember the inner dialogue I had back then. "You can't check out now. You can't check out and leave without seeing the new Batman movie. And there are rumors about a Justice League movie too. You can't miss all that. You don't want to miss all that. You know you don't want to miss all that."

I was thinking that I wanted to see all of those movies, and all those that would come out after them. When I look back now, I realize that deep down, I wanted to live, and this was me trying to save myself.

All this might sound ridiculous to the uninitiated, and it might sound like I cared more about a movie than I did for my mom and the pain I'd cause her if something bad happened to me. But brains work in mysterious ways by default. Sprinkle mental health problems on top of that, and you get weird stuff like this.

When you're dealing with depression, anxiety, or any other type of mental illness, you hold onto any lifeline that can help you get through the day. That’s exactly what I did, and it worked.

And while I understand why people had a problem with how the main characters were written, at that crucial part of my life, I didn't just relate to their anguish, I could feel it deep into my bones.

Batman was so broken down by life, and he ended up being an empty shell of the person he once was. He was so desperate to give meaning to his existence that he was willing to die on that rooftop when he turned on the Bat-signal.

Superman, the personification of hope, has lost his hope the same way I had lost mine.

Even though I'm in a much better place now, the war never ends. It might sound like hyperbole, but that's exactly what it is. A relentless war that costs people their lives. I am thankful to have little things like movies to get me through the day.

Suggested Articles

  • person in a blue shirt scrolling on their phone
    Parasocial Relationships

    Parasocial Relationships

    What are they and are they healthy?

  • blank blue text bubble with the words "Read 11:30am" beneath it
    How to Deal With Being Left on Read

    How to Deal With Being Left on Read

    They've read your text but haven't responded...here's what you should do

  • vapes in assorted colors lined up on a colorful background
    Vaping: The New Youth Epidemic?

    Vaping: The New Youth Epidemic?

    A VoiceBox feature piece exploring the appeal, risks, and mental health implications of young people vaping