Posted by: Doc Comics | June 30, 2012

SuperSummer final week 5: Why Superheroes matter?

SUPERMAN: RED SON is pure political allegory that stays true to the character but changes everything else!

Kicking-off our last week will be Mark Millar’s RED SON, an Elseworld’s tale that challenges the mission of meanings of Superman. As we look at post-9/11 superheroes and their thorny cultural and socio-political issues, discussion will focus on the post-9/11 lessons learned from our exploration of superheroes and the superhero cinema zeitgeist. Do you agree “superheroes have given us a way to talk about the War on/of Terror without directly talking about it” (for example, Marvel’s Civil War) but perhaps equally so with a myriad of other issues??

Later in the week, we will also be examining Grant Morrison’s award-winning and critically acclaimed run on ALL-STAR SUPERMAN to discuss “Does Superman still matter?” (some of my thoughts are here about Kal-El refuting superkillers like AzBats).  Meanwhile, we will also be looking ahead to your final paper’s analysis of a graphic novel exploring WHY these superheroes matter! Also some Supercourse coverage in the DRC and Comics Beat!

The backstory to this cover helps explain the story’s return to Superman’s mythic core and enduring appeal of this “Man of Steel” in a world of glass.



  1. As MoreFun Tim will hammer home in our discussion of All-Star Supes, there are plenty of reasons that the superhero MOVIE genre differs significantly from the superhero COMICS in ways that are ideologically and politically intriguing. Ironically, comics are potentially MORE subversive than Hollywood films since these commodities necessitate increasingly innovative stories from devoted fans… which is why they will continue to shape Hollywood with stories that were innovative decades ago!

    “But the lesson of a lot of superhero narratives, after 9/11, is that great power may not be enough. You can have great power and still be unable to stop evil or destruction. Or you can use your power carelessly, and cause greater harm than the threat you were trying to stop. The list of things that come with great power keeps increasing.”

  2. A.O.Scott at the NYT: “There is something paradoxical about the modern ascendance of the superhero: world domination is what these guys were born to fight, and here they are chasing after it in a fairly literal way. Their rise is partly, like the rise of Hollywood itself, a great American success story… And yet … I have to say that the hegemony of the superheroes leaves an increasingly sour taste in my mouth, and that their commercial ascendance has produced, with a few exceptions, diminishing creative returns. The scrappy underdogs and pulpy tales have turned into something else, and I wonder if some of the fun, and much of the soul, has been lost.”

  3. Reblogged this on SUPERHERO RHETORIC FORTRESS OF BLOGITUDE! and commented:

    Note the new SuperSummer 2013 Final Paper due date is Thursday Aug 8th!

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