Low-Frequency Listener (L-FL): Today finds us with the third issue of Robert Kirkman and Cory Walker’s Invincible. The superhero definition of the day derives from Stan Lee’s “More than Normal, but Believable” vignette and states a superhero is “a person who des heroic deeds and has the ability to do them in a way that a normal person couldn’t.” Lee elaborates, “So in order to be a superhero, you need a power that is more exceptional than any power a normal human being could possess, and you need to use that power to accomplish good deeds. Otherwise, a policeman or a fireman could be considered a superhero. For instance, a good guy fighting a bad guy could be just a regular police story or detective story or human-interest story. But if it’s a good guy with a superpower who is fighting a bad guy, it becomes a superhero story. If the good guy is doing something that a normal human being couldn’t do, couldn’t accomplish, then I assume he becomes a superhero.” The antics from Invincible #3 fit Stan Lee’s criteria, listen to what occurs in this story.
Invincible #3 (I#3): My story tells how Mark Grayson quits his mundane job at Burger Mart and gains superhero instruction while on patrol with his father, the superhero Omni-Man. They fight an army of green-skin aliens from another dimension that age at an accelerated rate. One of these aliens kidnaps the Mark’s father. Kids with bombs attached to their chests (that have been present since issue 1) keep appearing and keep exploding.
These contents lead “superhero” definition of a being of extraordinary power who receives guidance from another on the application of their powers.
L-FL: That element of learning and growth brings to mind the conclusion Stan Lee has in the same writing referenced earlier: “I think people are fascinated by superheroes because when we were young we all liked fairy tales, and fairy tales are stories of people with superpowers, people who are super in some way—giants, witches, magicians, always people who are bigger than life. Well, as we got older, we outgrew fairy tales. Most people don’t read fairy tales when they’re grown-ups, but I don’t think we ever outgrow our love for those kinds of stories, stories of people who are bigger and more powerful and more colorful than we are. So superhero stores, to me, are like fairy tales for grown-ups. I don’t know why, but the human condition is such that we love reading about people who can do things that we can’t do and who have powers that we wish we had.”
I#3: That gives a basic reason for why some read tales of superheroics beyond childhood. I imagine this is still small, but, “well, that’s more porkchops for us.”