Superheroes Needed?

July 15, 2005

Here is an interesting article on this new “Golden Age” of comic book heroes. Alex Wainer, who teaches on Media in Palm Beach, discusses the latest round of comic book heroes to make their appearance in the CGI-fests that we call Summer Movies. Here is a sample of what he has to say:

Time-Warner, the corporation that owns DC Comics took notice of Marvel’s cinematic success and sought to revive their two heaviest hitters, Superman and Batman, as three-dimensional characters. By treating the source material seriously, i.e., by acknowledging that these characters appeal to their readers for more than their colorful outfits and fantastic strength, studios have finally found the right approach. As Gary D. Robinson put it so well in his recent Breakpoint piece, Batman Begins proved the potential for great storytelling that eluded the previous Bat-films. The upcoming Fantastic Four and next year’s Superman Returns both promise to depict their heroes with the psychological realism their comics fans have always known they had.

As most of the regular readers of the blog know, I was a comic junkie growing up. My favorites were Justice League (seeing all those heroes working together somehow just seemed the right thing), Fantastic 4, and Spiderman. Read Wainer’s article and come back for my final point.

What I enjoyed about F4 was Ben, the Thing. He was never truly happy with being a superhero, though he loved to tell the bad guys, “It’s clobberin’ Time”. His only real joy came when he was in the arms of his blind girlfriend. He was the kind of superhero that came from human stock. Spiderman (Peter Parker) was even more of the same. With his analytical angst growing faster than his webs, Parker never gets over being not liked by people. He only feels comfortable with his Aunt and Mary Jane, the two loves of his life. Peter Parker was my alter-ego. Because of my personality, I was often thrust into leadership, even as a teenager. I hated it then, and when it happens now, I still feel the Parkeresque doubts. Don’t we all?


One comment

  1. Real people as comic book heroes? That seems like an oxymoron. There aren’t many, that’s for sure. Some of the Anime are more real. A few of the Dark Horse characters qualify, as do some of the WWII Howling Commandoes. I can’t think of any others.

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