Have you ever noticed that superheroes aren’t any better than we are about fixing their own problems? I find this extremely ironic since most of us think having superpowers would help make our lives easier. But in fact, having superpowers doesn't take away their suffering any more than the rest of us. In fact many superheroes decide to use their powers for good precisely because of some tragic event in their life. Robin Rosenburg who wrote an article for the Smithsonian magazine, notes that there are three ways superheroes become superheroes: there's chance-- like Spider-Man being bitten by a radioactive spider; there's Destiny-- like the X-men who are born with their powers and have to decide how to use them; and there's trauma-- like Batman whose parents are killed when he's a child so he spends his life becoming a superhero to bring justice to the world. (Robin Rosenburg, Smithsonian Magazine, February 2013)
But even as Rosenburg splits superheroes' origin stories into three categories, there is a thread that runs through many of them-- and that is the thread of trauma. The X-men, after all, are excluded and made to feel less than because of their powers-- they are feared and the government tries to control them, and a lot of the time it is the trauma of this situation that fuels their superhero status. Spiderman, although retaining his powers by chance, doesn't use them for good until his Uncle is murdered and that convinces him to use his powers to help others instead of just making a buck for himself.