Archive for August, 2011

Comics and Readers Thereof…

August 5, 2011

There are comics that deal with deep philosophy, with the nature of reality and humanity. Comics that deal with our relationship to the environment or to our governments.

And there are comics that deal with costumed heroes. Some describe how such a thing would work out in the real world (more or less). Or are complete and hilarious satire.

And yes, there is also the bulk of the costumed hero genre: a bunch of people- with powers ranging from normal abilities extended beyond normal limits to the completely impossible- beating on each other with some soap opera level drama going on in between fights.

The quality varies dramatically, and the fanbase does as well. There are people who like superman because he is nearly invincible and there are others who like him because to protect his identity Clark Kent portrays himself as a coward and weakling and has difficulties with Lois Lane as a result. There are some who like that he is a newspaper man and those who like that he is completely constant to his morality. There are those who despise him because he never questions the authority of the state, if it is his state, and there are who dislike him as the ultimate Gary Stu.

But sadly, I have to discuss a superhero closer to my heart here. Spiderman. Spiderman, who since the beginning has been a nerd, geek, and science student- an outsider in school culture and then in corporate culture. The underdog. You might expect that all those who sympathize with him as an outsider and an underdog would also sympathize with racial groups who have been treated as outsiders in American culture.

About the “all” you would apparently be wrong. I cannot represent all of comic reading culture- but for my part of it, I just want to say this: so long as they write Spidey well, so long as they give him sarcastic, cynical, and caustic comments, so long as he uses his brain as much as his brawn to win out against the villians he faces, I am a fan.

And I am even more of a fan of Marvel now because by having a minority character in this heroic role, Marvel is opposing racism.

(Edited to add picture and correct links)