Sometimes, though, our heroes - real or fictional - can let us down.
I spoke in my comics wrap up earlier this week about my frustration and disappointment at Marvel's stupidity.
In case you haven't heard? They've turned Captain America into a Nazi.
People all over the world look up to Captain America - including kids, men, and women. Including me.
So this decision is not one I support - clearly.
I don't think that the people who made this decision should be threatened however - that's not what our real Cap, the one who isn't part of f**king HYDRA for f**ks sake,) would want.
Anyone who would dare to make death threats, or induce others to kill themselves, simply because they don't agree with a creative decision (no matter how down-right awful the decision may be,) is not a true Cap fan.
(And if you don't agree with that? Think very carefully about what Steve Rogers would say to you about your opinion.)
But, whether this turns out to be an elaborate fake-out or not (and here's hoping,) it got me to thinking - what do we do when our heroes fall?
Well, the problem with real people, is that they're real.
And while they can be hugely admirable, real people are likely to err at various points in their lives: the accusations made by Amber Heard against Johnny Depp, Maria Sharapova's failed drugs test, etc.
If they're lucky - and very good for a very long time - they can regain our trust. But there will always be an element of fans who they will've lost for good.
The problem with fictional people, is that their lives are controlled by real people - who are likely to err and/or make stupid decisions.
Luckily, with fictional people, it's not the character's fault. Therefore you can still love them, and use the excuse of bad writing etc. to exonerate them.
Does this mean we're quicker to forgive fictional people - with all the stresses they have of being fictional - than we are to forgive real people; who, let's face it, have to deal with real life?
Whether we do or don't, and whatever the rights and wrongs of forgiveness in any particular situation, when your hero lets you down, it can feel like a crushing blow.
Maybe this is because we feel like there should be an ideal - someone we can realistically look up to and model ourselves on; who is better than ourselves, but not unattainably.
Maybe it's just because we've always needed heroes - from mythology to today - so that we can feel like there are forces for good in the world.
But we shouldn't forget the good just because of the bad.
Because the good things that Captain America stands for? Not even a crappy HYDRA story-line can damage that.
He's still about love, tolerance, and freedom (which is why he SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO HAVE A BOYFRIEND DAMMIT!!! - Sorry, I'm not letting that topic go either.)
So I still love you, Cap. Because I love what you mean to me - and to millions of other people around the world.
Nerd Church is a weekly post where I faff on about various things and pretend I know what I'm talking about. Feel free to continue the discussion - or to share this post, if you liked it, because it would make me very happy :)