When Rob was a little boy his mother used to dress him up in a Superman costume, complete with rain boots, a red towel pinned together with a clothespin and a giant yellow S on his chest. Rob "flew" down Queensdale Ave. in that costume, keeping his neighbourhood safe for democracy. He never tired of it. Rob's Oma bought him his first Superman comic in the 1970's, the first of many trips to the comic store (now he has a whole closet full). Rob treasured that comic.
When my brother Bill was little, he used to wear Superman underwear. They were called "Underoos". He had a Superman garbage can in his bedroom. And he loved to watch the Superman movies starring Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent/Superman.
Bill's son, Bo, is now interested in Superheroes. Spiderman came for a visit on Bo's birthday, flying down the stairs on one of his webs. When Uncle Rob visits Bo, he tells him stories about the origins of each superhero, complete with sound effects. On Mother's Day, Bo came to our house. Rob gave him a gift: a stack of comics from when he was a little boy. When Bo opened the first comic, it was like he had entered another universe. He studied each of those comics intently, carefully flipping the pages. We have a new comic book collector in the making.
The superhero is not dead. He is very much alive.