9 reasons why cowboys are better than superheroes

Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy superhero movies and even (at a safe distance) comics. But the Avengers and Wolverine can’t hold a candle to the Sacketts and the Man With No Name.

When I want to relax and immerse myself in a heroic movie, I don’t go looking for a Marvel flick. I go back to films like Silverado, Pale Rider, and Quigley Down Under.

I don’t really do comics, but I have a whole shelf of Westerns. I grew up on Louis L’Amour novels, and the Western landscapes he wrote about still feel like home to me — not only because of the stories, but because I literally grew up there. My direct and not-so-distant ancestors helped build those dusty towns and farms in the wilderness. They were the people in those stories.

Which brings us to the list. So why are cowboys better than superheroes?

Cowboys were real.

The cowboy/old west aesthetic was killer. Bonus for not being goofy spandex.

Cowboys were unapologetically manly, and had a code of chivalry that rivaled medieval knights when it came to protecting women, children, and the weak.

They used guns, and so did everyone in those days. God made men, but Mr. Colt made men equal, as they say. A woman with a gun is suddenly as dangerous as some outlaw.

Cowboys killed the damn bad guy, they didn’t let them live for fear they’d “stoop to their level,” thereby letting the evil ones free to kill and hurt others some more.

Cowboys ride horses, and horses are awesome.

Cowboys acquired their skill through hard work, discipline, and guts, not freak accident or birth.

Cowboys aren’t “The Chosen One.”

Western villains are true badasses and not cartoony weirdos in garish costumes.

Cowboys Are Better Than Superheroes” amatopia.wordpress.com

This is why, although I do love playing other things, I’ve been trying to build an Old West roleplaying game and not a superhero game or yet another fantasy RPG.

All the elements that make compelling, entertaining, fulfilling fiction are already there in the real history of the Old West, waiting for writers, movie makers, game makers, and game players to bring them out.

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