Tuesday, June 24, 2014

100+ Definitions 24

Invincible #24

Low-Frequency Listener (L-FL): Kurt Busiek, author of the comic Astro City and a bunch of books at Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse notes (in the essay listed below) that “A superhero is a hero writ large.” He also writes, “Superheroes are metaphors, and you can pour anything into them. Superheroes are something writ large, and that something depends on what you want to write large.”  These ideas provide a useful lens in considering the events in the 24th issue of Invincible.

Invincible #24 (I#24):  Art, a superhero costume designer and family friend of the Graysons, advises Mark to spend more time with his Mom.  Upon a visit, Mark learns she’s studying real estate and receives a lecture about guarding his secret identity.  Angstrom Levy obtains geographic knowledge of multiple dimensions from the machine the Mauler clones constructed.  Invincible attacks, the machine explodes, and a bunch of Mauler clones from other dimensions are killed and Angstrom Levy is disfigured and swears vengeance against Invincible.

A superhero definition is: A superhero is a being who accepts this station and powers.  Desiring to increase these powers (rather than master them) transforms them into monsters.

L-FL: In the essay “The Importance of Context: Robin Hood is Out and Buffy is In” by Kurt Busiek writes “The question of what constitutes a superhero is, I think, more a philosophical question than a literal one, because when you look for a literal definition—Why is Batman a superhero and James Bond not a superhero?  Or is James Bond a superhero?  What is the definition?  Where are the hard-line boundaries?—you get lost in a mire of contradictions.  My feeling has always been that “superhero” is one of those vague terms that have certain hallmarks, and a character ho has enough of those hallmarks is a superhero.  But “enough” is a nebulous term, and not everyone’s going to agree on which characters fall where.  Still, there are a couple of different ways of looking at the question.”

“The primary hallmarks of the superhero are superpowers, costume, code name, secret identity, heroic ongoing mission, and superhero milieu.  If the character has three of those six, he or she is probably a superhero.” 

I#24:  “Jerk.”

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