Update September 2016
From now on, all of my superhero-related posts will be published at my A Clash of Heroes Blog.
My students all know that I love superheroes, and I often find ways to use superheroes and their stories as analogues for issues that I discuss in class. But last week a student said to me that a movie like The Avengers “doesn’t have anything to do with the real world. It’s just dumb entertainment.” I had to forgive this student for such an egregious claim. She’s new to college, and I have no control over whatever subpar education that she received before now and would lead her to think that The Avengers is just “dumb entertainment.” But she made me realize that while it is certainly true that superhero movies are wildly popular right now, some people don’t realize just how important the mythology of comic book heroes can be if we’re willing to take them seriously.
(The Desire for) Power Corrupts
One of the reasons that I think superheroes are important at this particular moment is how good their stories are at helping us think about questions of power. And perhaps more now than in any other time, we need to think about what it means to seek and to wield power. (more…)