The MCU, Sony’s Marvel Studios releases, CW’s Arrowverse, Warnor Bros DCEU, Netflix’s Jupiter’s Legacy, Amazon Prime’s The Boys… it seems like everywhere you look, you see superheroes.
But what’s the deal?
Why are they so damned popular?
Without getting into the very long, very serious sociology-in-comics lesson the first draft of this post was turning into, let’s get right down to the bottom line…
Supers are the new Epics… the new Sagas… the larger-than-life figures whose fantastic struggles teach us the simple lessons we didn’t know we needed to learn.
Long-time fans are familiar (and often frustrated) with retcon – changing the past of a character/story/team to create a new reason/attitude in current storylines — but there’s a reason for that, too.
The Iliad, The Odyssey, Beowulf… those all took place in a world that – as far as the people in it were concerned – didn’t change a hell of a lot. But the world’s in a very different place than it was 10 years ago… 20 years ago… 80 years ago… hell – we’re in a very different place now than we were 2 years ago!
For these characters to continue teaching life lessons, their lives have to change with ours. However it happens, the hero’s narrative has to align with the world we live in or their lessons are lost.
Sometimes it’s retcon. Sometimes it’s retirement and passing the torch. Sometimes it’s a personal epiphany. Sometimes it’s coming back from the dead.
Whatever the catalyst, the heroes are moved back to a place where we can identify with them. Where their stories can teach us.
Comic books & superhero media give us… something… Something to strive for… something to emulate… something to fight against… something to believe in…
…and don’t worry if it’s not all falling into place right now – Superman was with us more than 60 years before we found out the “S” meant hope. (You’ve got time.)
Until next time, friends… those struggles you’re facing? You’ve got someone in your corner. It might be a superhero or it might just be me… but you’ve got someone 🤗
Summer’s here. Again. We haven’t been hit with the break-out-the-stillsuits heat (yet) but it will come. It always does. At least, this year, it looks like we might be able to breathe recycled air someplace other than our own homes.
What the world will look like for “summer vacation” and beyond is still anybody’s guess… there are just too many variables.
Regardless of the fact that the Day Job is in the educational sector, I don’t really get a “summer vacation.” It’s okay, though… with so many other folks on summer vacation, I actually tend to get quite a bit done. And it looks like the Day Job will still be remote – at least through the summer – so I have that extra commute time to be home doing not-Day-Job things.
The plan, of course, is to get a decent amount of writing done.
And get in a couple trips to the zoo.
But what about the last year?
I know a lot of folks that participated in NaNoWriMo wrote the pandemic into their novel. I understand the need for catharsis for both writer and reader, and that those stories could offer that.
But my muse doesn’t work that way.
When the RealWorld™ has gone to shit, my muse basically throws it out even more completely than she normally does. You won’t find mention of the pandemic or the shelter-in-place orders in my writing because, frankly, fiction – in general – should be a safe way to escape for both reader and writer.
I know. I can hear it now: What about Scarred Sun? What about the social issues that creep in around the fantasy?What about that one character?
Think about an escape.
If you’re escaping from a person/place/situation, odds are pretty high that person/place/situation was bad for you. Odds are pretty high that, to some extent, you didn’t want to be there.
And you do escape. You get away. You’re free.
Except for the memories… the residual pain and fear… the trauma… those don’t all go away. Some of it’s not as bad. Some of it you can actually pack up and get rid of. But other stuff stays and the best you can do is learn to cope.
While the pandemic is a staggering thing and is more likely to have a place in the history books than more pressing issues (that’s another rant I don’t feel like ranting right now), it’s not that bad. With just over three million obvious exceptions*, the whole of it can be packed up and stuck on a shelf to be forgotten… but that’s just not true for a lot of other things that defined 2020.
No more grim social commentary today. Maybe tomorrow 😉
Until next time, friends… drink some water, stop and smell the roses, pet the dogs (with permission, of course), and soak up the Vitamin D.
You need it.
We all do. 🌞
*3,128,962 confirmed deaths according to the World Health Organization at time of writing