All-Star

All-Star

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Some links:

Archetypes

Here's an interesting discussion of superheroes as archetypes from comic book resources. It's evidently ongoing, so it's not over. It's part of the column When Worlds Collide. Here's a relevant passage:

Superman, in many ways the opposite, doesn't have any problems, except those which he manufactures for himself. He could correct any injustice almost instantly, and even the social problems writers saddled him with for years were mostly the result of his attempt to pretend at humanity. To pretend to have those very problems. Had this mythic character never adopted the guise of an awkward newspaper man, he wouldn't have had to trick Lois Lane all those times. And he wouldn't have had any of those dual-identity struggles. Batman punches problems in the face to become superhuman, while Superman creates problems for himself to become human.

The discussion suffers from a sketchy definition of the concept of the archetype, which is a sketchy concept in the first place that I don't think really benefits anybody. Also a sketchy grasp of comparative mythology. But still pretty good analysis of Superman and Batman and the Fantastic Four.

Original Graphic Novels

This is something that I might not normall discuss here: a retelling of Superman's origin--and presumably leading into a serialized adventures--in a longer, less frequent format than the monthly comic. I mention it because the discussion surrounding it is interesting. This one, by a Grumpy Old Fan, particularly. It goes into the history of Superman and the changes the character goes through. Fans know of the change and have accepted it as an aspect of Superman. It's perhaps one of the character's defining qualities--his mutability.

Bizarro

Here's the Huffington Post using Bizarro as a way to characterize how Washintong does business. Funny.

This sort of thing is really useful. I wish it were easy to record in conversation, but the easiest way to get it is in popular culture, news, etc. By "this sort of thing" I mean people using phrases, ideas, characters, etc., from Superman in other contexts. Such as the article: "Washington often seems like Superman's Bizarro World where "Us is opposite." They even link to the Wikipedia for Bizarro in case the reader can't figure it out from the context clues. Actually, it feels like the quote should be "Us do opposite." Doesn't it?

This is folk speech, and it shows the extent to which Superman has pervaded public life. We can say "faster than a speeding bullet," "Truth, justice, and the American Way," "Up, up, and away," It's a bird, it's a plane..." " kryptonite, and everybody will have an idea what we're talking about. Or pretty much everybody. Are there other phrases? Bizarro is one of them. Batman's got a few of those, too.

Superman Comes Out of the Phone Booth

This is funny. It's a video.

Literacy

This one's kind of old, but interesting. Comics were used in the army to help troops improve their literacy.

That'll do for now.

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