Literary works, regardless of genre or medium, are often interspersed with displays of heroism. Yet, nowhere else are they more necessary than in texts that feature the apocalypse. Because apocalyptic texts create dire situations that demand drastic action from its characters in response to the impending threat, heroism becomes an inherent aspect of such texts; a hero or group of heroes must step up in an attempt to protect others from danger and save the world. Apocalyptic texts are thus replete with opportunities that take us through the multi-faceted notions of heroism and, more importantly, push the ever-expanding boundaries of heroism.
In this issue, the authors will take you through various depiction of apocalyptic heroes, starting with the all-time classic superheroes whom we are no strangers to. Are these heroes nothing more than their powers? Or do they have something else to offer, even as the apocalypse beats them down to their knees? Next, we examine everyday heroes, the ones who consistently show up even if they are nowhere near “extraordinary”. Then, we aim to shed light on the heroines of the apocalypse, who are equally if not even more underrepresented. These heroes are in constant battle across two fronts: against existential threats as well as gender discrimination. Finally, we hope to take a step back and appreciate heroism on a larger scale, reflecting on whether such changes in perspective are necessarily accompanied by fundamental shifts in what heroism entails.
While we deal with wide-ranging texts and perspectives, ultimately we seek to reveal insights surrounding the question: What makes apocalyptic heroism unique?