Monday, May 11, 2009

I wrote my dissertation on Prometheus, and I analyzed every use of the character I could find, from references in books to businesses that are named after the character. I also studied the use of the name as a referent in conversation. What did people mean when they referred to something as Prometheus, or Promethean?

I'm not doing this for Superman, because that would take the rest of my life, but I still think it's interesting. Take, for instance, the story "Sometimes You Feel Like a Man of Steel". It's hilarious for two reasons: First, because of the description of the pump at the beginning, which goes into far more detail about big macs than is necessary. Second, for the ending, and the perfect way the writer handles being punched in the stomach by a random drunk girl. I think the series of which this is a part, "Life is Real: Writing the final chapters" is a really great idea. I can barely imagine what it must be like to fight terminal cancer, but I think that having a forum to write about it must help in some small way.

Then there's stuff like this. The meaning that people find in Superman's secret identity takes a long time to catalogue. I hadn't come across a homosexual interpretation until now. I don't recall for sure, but I seem to remember a lot of people writing about the homosexual subtext to Superman Returns, basing it on the director's sexual orientation more than anything else. Wait a minute, I don't have to recall anything: i've got the internets...

Here's just about the only one worth a look:

"I think the generation of gay men that grew up on Superman and a few of the other comic superheroes probably read a lot of stuff into it that they recognized -- the whole double-life situation and running into 'closet-like' spaces," Lock says.

In Other News...

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