The idea that fiction must be moral or reflect a moral point of view may not actually be true or necessary or even helpful. For example…
Are superhero comics actually showing that? Or is that what you brought to it? Personally, I think it just shows that stories need complications. If the hero could punch, shoot or even think his way through a problem in the first scene, there would be no story. Superheroes don’t think through problems any more than homicide detectives would in a police procedural or mystery. If anything, superheroes do less thinking than most stories.
Since Aristotle, we’ve grown up in a world where the “moral” of a story was considered an innate part of it. That “drama” was an exploration of morality. However, even Aristotle acknowledged that the primary objective of “poetry” (what we’d call all forms of narrative fiction today) was pleasure. It was meant to entertain the audience and leave them pleased.
If you’re interested in the history, look back at the debate between Plato and Aristotle. Plato was entirely opposed to “imitative poetry” (again, think of fiction) and considered it had nothing to offer a moral society. First, it emphasized passion over reason. Second, it only pretended to imitate the world and really just offered falsehoods as truth. Third, it was filled with entirely immoral behavior - murder, blasphemy, incest, adultery, theft, war - and would only pass along the desire to commit these deeds to young, impressionable minds who otherwise would have no reason to see these as exciting or attractive. Finally, it produced nothing lasting and was thus inferior to the practical arts.
Aristotle agreed with Plato’s general assessment of the arts of storytelling, but disagreed that they were necessarily all bad. First, he pointed out that it reflected something innate to people - we would always tell stories - and therefore, though it did excite passions, reason could be applied to the art so that it guided the passions to a purpose rather than simply inspire them. Second, though it merely imitated the world rather than present it as it was, the world presented could contain moral and philosophic principles that would introduce complex ideas to the audience that they may not receive directly in actual direct instruction. Third, though it did excite the passions with the depictions of often horrible deeds, if it was directed to the end of extinguishing these passions - catharsis - then the stories would actually serve a purpose by allowing these passions to be played out in the performance rather than in the daily life of the polis. Catharsis, then, would be the lasting product of the art of poetry.
Now, you have to admit that Plato had a point. He actually was a great storyteller, and his story of Atlantis is one of the great abiding metaphors right up there with The Garden of Eden and Tower of Babel. However, at the same time, we still have people looking for the ruins of Atlantis proving out his point that presenting an imitation of life is always attended by the likelihood it would be misunderstood by the audience. Rather than people taking STAR TREK’s message of humanism to heart in their daily lives, we get Trekkers going to work in Star Trek uniforms or people speaking Klingon across the world.
Aristotle did not actually have much influence on drama in his own time. My favorite Greek playwright is Euripides and his plays absolutely do not adhere to Aristotle’s poetics. It is also important to point out that Aristotle wasn’t talking about the essential nature of fiction, but was describing his own ideal version of what it was and what it should be.
However, many centuries later, in the Christian renaissance of Europe, Aristotle’s work was taken on as if it was the last word in playwrighting. In my opinion, though, his moral view of drama seems tacked on. In fact, it often seems like the works of Shakespeare and others actually adhere to the Poetics almost in the same way movies today have to meet certain limitations to get a PG-13 rating. The Church and various other religious authorities were always opposed to the theater, for many of the same reasons Plato put forth, and playwrights had to take that into consideration. So the protagonists of the stories, the “heroes”, were placed in a moral framework where they were rewarded or, more likely, punished according to some idea of right and wrong.
Still, the point of the story was not the “moral” at the end, but the pleasures and passions the characters experienced - and the audience experienced with them - before the story ended. The morality was simply the key to complication. Complications are the fuel that carries the story along. Syd Field made a living exploring the structure of CHINATOWN as if it was the “perfect” film (CASABLANCA is Robert McKee’s Holy Grail of cinema and you can see it is his overrated manuals). I’ve always thought he missed the point of the story, though. The story is a series of complications to one single action. Jake Gittes is simply closing the book on one case.
It starts with Jake getting a job from a woman who claims her husband is cheating on her. He follows the man around and takes pictures of him with a younger woman. From his point of view, the job is complete. Then he discovers that the woman who hired him is not really the wife of the man he followed. Thus, a complication. From then on, Jake is still trying to solve the case of what really was going on when he followed that man, and there are complications each step of the way that lead to exciting action on screen. Fights, murders, sex - the “passions.”
But does it mean anything to the audience? No. Just because God seems to exist in BATTLESTAR GALACTICA or MICHAEL CLAYTON, doesn’t mean God exists in reality. Just because CSI always finds the killer at the end of each episode doesn’t mean real murderers are always found every time (or even most of the time). There is no reason to apply a moral to the story outside the confines of the fiction. What you are writing is not reality and it doesn’t even have to be what you think is right or wrong in real life. In fact, hell, it’s usually better if it absolutely is NOT what you think is right or wrong. Look at Stanley Kubrick’s films.
The truth is that even with the most well-known artists, very few of them will have or have had much actual impact on anything other than the medium in which they were working. Did Bob Dylan change the world? No, his fans became your parents and, by now, grandparents doing much the same as their own parents did. Did Shakespeare change anything? Has Alan Moore or Mark Millar? Even if you reached somebody, you’re more likely to see people dressing up as your heroes rather than a movement that actually affects whatever you’re concerned about. Like Will says, that would be up to you to affect directly with whatever means you may have.
Not that it’s never happened. Take a look at the romantic Russian novel What Is to Be Done? (or What Shall We Do?) written by Nikolai Chernyshevsky in 1863. This was essentially the FIGHT CLUB of its day and, really, it was a piece of garbage as far as writing. As a work of fiction, it had nothing on Dostoevsky or Tolstoy, but it presented an ideal of utopian socialism that Lenin and his group basically used almost as a blueprint for their revolution.
Of course, this means that Chernyshevsky contributed to the eventual horrors of Stalinism with a book that was intended to present the idea of a humanist, socialist Utopia. No matter what you write, someone else - possibly someone better than you - will put out something with exactly the opposite ideas. And in the end, most readers will simply take whatever you give them as confirmation of what they already think. They won’t be changed by it. Plato’s right in that regard. The experience of real life changes people; not the imitation of it.