But, whether it happened by careful consideration or sheer coincidence, it turns out that every part of Superman's origin story is, according to experts, like an ingredient in a recipe to create a hero.
For starters, just being raised in a small town makes it far more likely that you'll risk your neck for someone else -- 80 percent of all winners of the Carnegie Medal, a prize they've been giving to real-life heroes for over 100 years, come from small towns. That's 80 percent of 9,558 people, which adds up to a shitload of heroic hicks.
We're assuming that most of the feats involved some variation of "saving a baby from a cow stampede."
But wait, don't the bulk of Superman's heroics happen in Metropolis? Yeah, and this part is grounded in reality, too: Philip Zimbardo, the psychologist behind the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment, more recently funded the Heroic Imagination Project, which studies the reasons why people risk themselves for others. According to him, people living in cities are 63 percent more likely to carry out heroic acts. The scientific explanation for this is that, as Zimbardo himself eloquently put it, "No shit happens in the suburbs."
And finally, Zimbardo's research, which was based on extensive surveys, also shows that those who have survived a disaster or some kind of tragic event are three times more likely to become heroes, which also explains why Batman, Spider-Man and pretty much every other major superhero is an orphan.