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Showing posts from May, 2012

We Will Avenge Them Or… Be Avenged?: The Individual in the US Experience

Rethinking Marvel's Avengers in a bigger sociocultural context



We Will Avenge Them Or… Be Avenged?: The Individual in the US Experience

CW - Arrow: The Core Symbolism of Superhero

The trailer for CW's Arrow is pretty good. The production team cut its teeth on Smallville, so that is not a surprise. Still, the meta-narrative of Arrow, based on DC Comics Green Arrow is a very interesting choice with a big election looming in 2012. As any (some? a few?) fan of comic books knows, the Silver Age story of Oliver Queen/Green Arrow started out as a Batman replica (instead of a Batcave, you have an Arrow cave...you get the idea). The character did not inspire a rabid following:-)

All that changed in the 1970s when writer Denny O'Neil rebooted the character and paired him with Green Lantern. The legendary Green Arrow/Green Lantern run featured a Green Arrow re-imagined as a socially conscious activist who challenged Green Lantern's simplistic "law and order" worldview. Since that transformation, Green Arrow has kept a focus on challenging authority and fighting for the "have nots" in society.

In an era of uncertainty a hero out to take dow…

Avengers: The Benchmark for the Marvel Cinematic Universe

The Avengers was a great movie. While excessive descriptors are sure to come, this essential truth might be loss. The Avengers is an action movie, thus it suffers from its summer movie mass audience mission.  Yes, the Avengers has massive special effects, and unlike some recent 3D efforts, I think the Avengers used the 3D for the benefit of the film, not simply to drive up ticket prices. Yes, the film has great cast.  The actors did an excellent job, Robert Downey, Jr. has found his stride as Tony Stark/Iron Man, and I think Scarlett Johansson really evolved the Black Widow as a character. Mark Ruffalo' Bruce Banner/ Hulk provide a nice counterpoint to Tony Stark/Iron Man and Whedon smartly put the two together.  Jeremy Renner did a great job as Agent Barton (never really got called Hawkeye...exactly. Like much of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, his take on Hawkeye has more to do with Marvel Ultimate Comics than the classic Silver Age Marvel, but that point is more for comic fans …