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Showing posts from May, 2011

If Ye Be Worthy: Thor and Identity and Idris Elba

If Ye Be Worthy: Thor and Identity and Idris Elba

A recent essay for PopMatters.com allowed me the chance to explore race and identity through the comic lens. With Ages of Heroes, Eras of Men, the anthology on superheroes and the U.S. experience finally coming together, I can see how superheroes are linked to the American experience in complex ways demonstrated in every essay. This comes as the summer crop of superhero films continues to develop the cinematic framework for superheroes in interesting ways. With Thor behind us, we can look forward to Green Lantern in June and Captain America in July. Like Thor, both offer important windows into the symbolic power represented by superheroes, but they also raise questions about how our the symbolic power of these heroic narrative blind us to the reality our world.

A Little Reaction to Rising Commentary on this Superhero Summer

A recent article from The American Prospect entitled, "Masked Identity Politics," revisited one of the most fertile areas of comic studies. The question of identity linked to superhero comics is one of the issue that drew me to superhero comics as a ways to discuss urban development and culture. It is a fine article, but of course it touches on issues I considered in the past. The assertions that U.S. superhero comics reflect deeply ingrained racial assumptions is natural critique. Close examination demonstrates how superhero operate to amplify broader cultural structures. With summer blockbuster like Thor, Green Lantern, and Captain America promising to dominate the box office, it understandable observers recognize how whiteness is linked to classic superheroes.

Since the September 11th terror attacks both major superhero comic publishers have provided stories that heighten the drama and put the spotlight on established characters. In a post-Cold War global community faci…

Understanding the Marvel Cinematic Universe

A while back I was reflecting on the intersection of comics and movies and I wrote....

There is also the concern that a coherent creative vision can be easily loss. At some level, Marvel should be mindful of this point. The ultimate marvel universe imprint basically allowed creators to take established characters and re-tell great stories. This has been extremely successful for the company. The current run of Ultimate Spider-Man by Brian Michael Bendis is classic stuff. The ultimate universe started with Bendis and Mark Millar, they built and controlled it. Jon Favreau provided a similar strong creative vision for the Marvel cinematic universe with Iron Man. I have faith that Kenneth Branagh's Thor will work. For everyone struggling with the concept.....Thor is Shakespeare with superpowers--done, I have explained everything for you.


The big weekend box office success in the United States, coming after a global roll out that as successful has proven me right about Thor.

Comic book …

'Thor' comes to the big screen: What's a Norse god doing in a Marvel comic?

'Thor' comes to the big screen: What's a Norse god doing in a Marvel comic?

Some quick reflection on Thor by me were incorporated into this Christian Science Monitor article by Gloria Goodale. All in all, I think Thor is significant success for Marvel. Satisfying on its own as a summer film, the elements of the cinematic universe Marvel is building are on display in this film. Like the print universe before it, the idea of a shared universe provides the kind of excitement for film goers that it has long provided to comic book fandom for decades.

Free Comic Book Day