From my karate blog, "Sky Hand Road": "It strikes me that this is, in one sentence, the essence of heroism: 'I never give up.'"
I've been re-watching the Justice League animated series on Netflix lately. (The one from 2001-2004, part of the "DC Animated Universe" (DCAU) or "Timmverse".) It's great stuff; though suitable for kids, it manages to touch on some deep ideas, in the best tradition of the superhero mythos.
The second season episode "Only a Dream" features the DCAU version of John Dee, a.k.a. Doctor Destiny. Fans of Neil Gaiman's work on Sandman (and if you're not such a fan, well, I'm sorry for you) may remember Dee as the supervillain who stole Morpheus's ruby and used its power to create horrors; in the DCAU, Dee is instead a petty crook, a convict who volunteers for ESP experiments that end up transforming him and giving him the power to control the dreams of others. He traps most of the Justice League heroes in their sleep, leaving Batman to confront Dee alone.