Thursday, June 19, 2014

100+ Definitions 19

Invincible #19

Low-Frequency Listener (L-FL):  The trend of invincible superhero definitions continues with Invincible issue 19.

Invincible #19 (I#19):  Readers learn one of the astronauts returning from the Mars voyage in issue 18 is a Martian shape-shifter masquerading as a human.  Atom Eve breaks up with her boyfriend (Mark’s best friend) and Titan (a supervillain who can turn his skin to stone) seeks Invincible’s help to overthrow the crime cartel of Machine Head.  After battling a team of six supervillains hired by Machine Head, and with some help from the Guardians of the Globe, Machine Head and his villains are defeated.  The final page reveals that instead of becoming a hero, Titan positions himself to assume the role of Machine Head as the crime cartel’s leader.

L-FL: A. David Lewis, a professor of religion and literature at Boston University, wrote an article titled “Save the Day.” In this article, Lewis states of superheroes:

 “'Heroes die, but legends live forever’—that is, heroes can die, but there is a class above the hero, that of the legendary superhero, whose members can bypass permanent death.  This draws a sharp distinction between the hero and the superhero, and that is a subtle yet important difference. …

“In short, a superhero is a super-empowered hero, one who not only risks death to defend others but has the ability to beat it as well.  This ability to evade permanent dead is the unspoken, widespread power wielded by superheroes, and it is practically definitional.   It finds its sources, where else, but in the origin of the superhero genre and the American cultural consciousness."

I#19: I define superhero as a powered individual willing to take a chance to trust the word and reform of others.

L-FL: So, do you think the “dead” heroes in Invincible will return?

I#19:  Yes…yes they will.

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