This started out as a review blog for a class I had last year, but I think from this point on I will take it up again but continue it as a recommendation/ review blog of sorts. Including my favorite books, movies, shows,etc… so stay tuned if interested. To be continued?…
This class has made me appreciate a lot more the concept of the super hero and re-imagine as far complex than I ever gave it credit for. I think I won’t ever look at Batman and Superman or any superhero quite the same again, but can’t say I’m not looking forwards quite a bit more for the superhero film trend to continue. Anyway I should be all caught up on posts, so fellow classmates feel free to browse around, sorry in advance for the numerous typos, I’ve had such a hectic semester, mostly all my assignments got submitted in a fray of misspellings and typos to the frustration of many. Yet, if you can stick it through I’m sure you’ll find the interest and thought but behind each post. Anyway it’s been fun.
Just realized I never really did an about me entry like most of you did. So here’s a small one:
Hi! My name’s Alejandra, this is my senior year, I hope if I survive all these final assignments to graduate this semester. I’m a Lit. major with a minor in journalism although you would not be able to tell through my apprehension for editing . Anyways I’ve enjoyed reading your posts and the lively discussions in class, nest of luck to everyone.
The prospectus is posted below, this is just my annotated bibliography.
Dittmer, Jason “Captain America’s Empire: Reflections on Identity, Popular Culture, and Post-9/11 Geopolitics.Taylor & Francis
Annals of the Association of American Geographers .Vol. 95, No. 3 (Sep., 2005) , pp. 626-643
This article argues primarily that Captain America serves as a symbolism of “American ideals” in more ways than just the uniform. As stated by Dittmer “Captain America serves as a cultural product that vaguely and invisibly connects the reader (usually young and male, aspiring to heroism), through the body of the hero, to the scale of the nation… [which] is necessary for the construction of temporarily bounded state occupied by cohesive nation” (Dittmer 628), in other words superhero storyline, serve to provide a model for citizens to want to emulate. He thus is a represenatton in each new adaptation of current American ideals. It further goes through the history of the original comics and explores the captain transformation, from literally a representation of American military. He points out how arguably, Captain America “is patristic without being a governmental stooge;he is self-made, rugged individualistic who still cares about his community and nation; he is willing to stand up for what he believes in but is ultimately defensive of the status quo” (633). He also notes the significance of how the World Trade Center and the Pentagon are portrayed in the comics after 911. Focusing on how the new adaptation of Captain America in that year, coincided with the tragedy of 911, and how the event was represented in the series. He makes a point to point out the Caps. reaction to the event of mourning and anger, and that the comic poises war as not a choice but something “America has be imposed” in.
Science Vol. 13, No. 4 (Aug., 2004) , pp. 169-172: Sage Publications, Inc. Who Develops Posttraumatic Stress
It illustrates a study done on PTSD triggers, and attempts to understand the disease better. t points out how their are more questions than solutions to this disorder. it attributed it primarily t those exposed to combat and or traumatic events. Such as those experienced by Steven Rogers and Bruce Wayne. According to the article it is prevalent in communities that have experienced war violence, political repression, armed civil conflict, all triggers to which our superheroes have been exposed to.
Weiner, Robert.” Captain America, post Traumatic Disorder, and the Vietnam War” .Captain America “Captain America and the Struggle of the Superhero: Critical Essays“.McFarland, 2009.http://www.Googlebooks.com
Stresses how Captain America has morphed from the patriotic solider stereotype to a more complex persona. It notes how it is in the 1960-70’s comics in which he struggles with PTSD. It attributes the fact that he wakes up with no moral support years after his trauma to the reason he is portrayed as reluctant leader with baggage. It highlights many of the symptoms associated with PTSD, which both Batman and Captain America portray. Such as feeling of isolation, persistent expectation of betrayal, and persistent interest with military connections and or past enemies. It stresses his lack of support and connection to the modern world as big contributor to his troubles. Also acknowledges readers response and preference to this PTSD dominated hero.
Nolan, Christopher. “The Dark Knight Rises”.
A reluctant, semi-retired, superhero, still mourning the loss of his childhood love Rachel, who was lost as “war” collateral in his battle against the Joker, in unable to resist the calling to help protect his citizens, although they have turn his back on him.
Miller, Frank. “The Dark Knight”
A retired superhero “solider” , having PTSD like war withdrawals. Can’t resist returns to the “battle” defying hinted at governmental authority, and must face off against “Superman” the epitome of the American hero.
Whiedon, Joss”The Avengers”. Marvel Studios.
Shows a just re-vied Captain America thrust into a leadership position
Russo, Anthony and Jo.”Captain America: The Winter Solider”.
Reluctant Captain America, forced to overcome PTSD, like flashbacks of his participation in WWII and the death of his best friend and comrade Bucky. Shows a disillusioned American solider rebelling against orders and fighting for his idea of truth and justice.
Didn’t notice I has to post our outside Supers related assignment prior to Spring Break. Anyway I decided to start the ABC t.v show ” Agents of S.H.I.E.LD. ” , so far I’ve only got caught up with the first two episodes. First impression, wow, instant hook. They reel you in first with emotional empathy seen between a father and son, in which we have a down on money and luck father, super powered man who can’t afford to buy his son a action toy, after not having a job for awhile. The action hook comes within in the first 10 minutes with a burning building, trapped woman, and the man (Mike), quickly putting a hood on to hide his face (secret identity) and saving her while shying away from attention although he could use it to get publicity and potentially money. Reminiscent of Coogan’s three superhero rules within the first 10 minutes, superpower, mission, and secret identity. The three rules is split up though into different characters, not within one character’s story, making this show not about one specific ” Super hero” per sea but rather a show about superheroes. The secret identity in that the general public does not know the identity of the seemingly super powered man that saved the woman from the burning building. Mike is super powered yet he lives a double life in that the public does not know he is superpowers. The mission can be seen though the lens of the “S.H.I.E.LD. ” agents attempting to not only recruit him but stop him from turning to the “dark side” fully due to side affects from the poison that altered him in the first place. This pilot episode had all the making of a X-men style superhero origin.
The second episode reminded me, sticking with the X-men theme, of the “X-men Evolution” t.v. series I saw in my childhood and the first comic of the “X-men ” series we read in class. in that it centered on building a relationship between these advanced talented individuals. It had 5 different members Skye (the hacker), Leo Fitz the engineer, Jemma the rocket scientist, and Agent Ward the hand to hand combat specialists? all led by a seemingly all knowing experienced older leader Coulsan. Similarly as in the first X-men comic we read in class, we saw Xavier as the leader of a group of teenage super skilled/powered individuals (The Beast, Cyclops, Bobby, Jean). They at first bicker but after being put into the category of them vs. us they bond, forming a sense of a unified other. By the end of this episode we see them bonded by the fact that their special skills can be used to complete missions, we see a bond formed out of a sense of duty to use their skills/powers to save those less qualified to save themselves, as often has been seen all semester with the superhero’s we’ve encountered.
What I noticed in Jack Kirby’s and Mike Rover’ s ” Orion Fights for Earth” comic was a theme of associating being a “Super” for lack of a better word, a lot with destiny. Take for example the following quotes:
“My destiny is Battle! I Wield mighty power of the Astro-force! it is a grim and fearful responsibility!”
(Three exclamations for emphasis!!!)
“Has the source written for me a fool’s destiny?”
“… to help you on your great destiny”
For Orion it is evident he views it a will of “the source” (God) for him to be a savior. This is something we have yet to really encounter with superheros before, usually they view it as a act of Patriotism, as i it is there obligation as good citizens.
Yet, there seems to be this minimized contradiction of free-will and destiny. For the elder, states
” But it does not decide! The right of choice is ours”, when referring to the idea that the “source” (god) doesn’t decide one’s future/responsibility, that it is a choice. Returning to the ageless argument, do we have free will if we accept the belief of destiny?
There also seems to be an underplay of anger/resentment towards “the source”, towards life from quite a few characters, which becomes a little more obvious with the following quote,”Life is the evil here and death the great goal”. We have yet to encounter this in a comic before, this association with death as a goal, rather than a sacrifice.
Another idea I found interesting was this idea of the next generation as being revered, usually it is the elders one most show honor and respect for, but the following quote switches up the status quo, “First We Bow To The Young They Are the carrier’s of life”.
Overall this comic was more that just your typical origin story it had a lot of interesting overlapping themes.
In the comic “New Gods” we become more familiar with Darkseid, yet I was more drawn to the outrage felt by Izaya when he’s wife is hurt by carelessness. It is now a common motif to use in comics now, the idea of avenging the fallen damsel if not rescuing. Although it was interesting that she was super powered in her own right, and seemed to have some agency in her brief introduction. It was a very Eve and Adam introduction, mixed with a sort of religious doctrine sort of comic, with the introduction of the idea that the “The new Gods were formless and aimless in deed” .
In the “Green Lantern/ Arrow” comic #76 of “No evil shall escape my sight”, we see this controversy between destiny and free will again addressed when Lantern struggles to decide whether to follow the guidelines laid by his “source” accept their methods as his destiny, or change it in accordance to his changed viewed of the world. Here we are faced with the foil between the “good boy scout” and the “rebel”, their are two types of heroes portrayed here, for lack of a better explanation, the cliche, of the government’s army vs. the people’s solider. The idea that one can deviate from their appointed roles by challenging authority and breaking rules, therefore gaining the ability to choose their own paths/destinies is shown here with the presence of Arrow challenging at every turn Lantern’s ideals, ultimately steering a rift between Lantern and his “source”. Does an individual have the right to challenge authority and decide for themeselves what is right or wrong?
This week is “X-men” Week.
In “X-men” #1, the first thing that stood out to me was the Jean Grey who from my childhood days of watching the animated versions of “X-men” and “X-men Evolution” always knew her as the Phoenix but never as Ms. Marvel. In this first issue, we are already seeing what we as a class have noted as reoccurring themes. Such as the idea that superheroes need to hide their powers because “the human race is not ready to accept those with extra powers!” hence the alias names like, The Beast (Hank), Cyclops (Scott), etc.. Also the idea of needing to train to their powers in order to help better mankind. Their mission is to “protect mankind from those… those evil mutants”. I thought it was interesting when the Sargent at the end of the comic states “I will not ask you to reveal your true identities…”, because with most of the superheroes we’ve encountered their civilian entities are the fake and not the heroic ones.
#59 This issue unlike issue one has the reader jump right into the action, seemingly war among super-humans in space? A lot of characters are introduced Scarlet witch, Quick Silver, and of course Wolverine. The action tone of this particular comic is evokes through the vibrant colorization, primarily of light colors like yellow. With exception of memory scenes where things are grey.
X-Men Uncanny #135-137’s is the “Phoenix’s” story arc. I found surprising how much so the idea of women, with absolute power was sexualized. They kept referring to the fact that she would derive pleasure from the corruption. This so far has been one of my favorite story arcs that we have encountered, not because of Jean’s charter because I quite frankly don’t find her very appealing, but because of the them of duality. The idea of being forgiven for your sins because it is another you unleashing havoc. We get here another doctor Hyde and Jekyll scenario. The first thematic line that caught my interest was the comparison of Jean to a beautiful, all powerful vengeful Goddess. Placing in her as a parallel to perhaps the Zeus mythology.