I've actually got a few heroic songs like that on my playlist. The Ramones' take on the old Spider-Man theme, one of the more aggressive themes from One Piece (appropriately titled "Run! Run! Run!"), a Reverend Horton Heat cover of "Jonny Quest" and several of J.G. Thirlwell's songs from Venture Brothers to name a few. I was just writing a piece for MTV Geek about Herbet Chavez and Christopher Dennis, two men who spend much of their lives emulating Superman, and it really hit home just how much I continue to use heroes to inspire me. When I'm on mile 14 of an 18-mile training run and my knee is in agony because the support on my shoes went out three miles earlier and my shin still hurts from an injury two weeks ago that I haven't let heal properly because I'm training for a marathon with a specific deadline and I don't have time to NOT run on it and I'm over-heating because it was already in the mid-70s and super-humid when I started at 5AM a couple hours ago and... Well, let's just say that I'm not so much of an athlete that I don't notice these things.
I've had people who follow me on Twitter or Facebook note that my posts about training have been inspiring, which I'm really pleased about. I like to think it comes across as a pretty ordinary guy being able to do something extraordinary through the sheer force of will. But without folks like Monkey D. Luffy and Brock Samson encouraging me to keep going, I'm not sure I'd be able to do it on my own.
And I think that's the real benefit to having heroes in comics and related media. To propel us forward in ways we didn't think were really possible. It sounds almost naive and silly to think I get encouragement from a comic book or a cartoon, but those are the ideals we're supposed to strive for, aren't they? Why not actually strive for them?