Monday, September 5, 2011

THE RISE OF THE SUPERHERO ARCHETYPE

I wish to respond to Mike Knoll's excellent article on the death of the superhero comics. Fear not! I wish to report that the superhero archetype has been around since the Greek Gods. Stories such as The Odyssey confirm superheros are essential to the stories mankind likes to tell itself.

Mankind is always striving to be a superhero, you see, its in our nature. And, we're pretty good at it. With the apparati we create (think Iron Man's suit) we can breath in outer space or a mile under the sea. We can survive after having our hearts stopped during bypass surgery. We can send thoughts around the world instantly. See distant galaxies.

So there will always be a need for superhero comics. The trick is the old genres die, and a new genre based on what's come before must arise. And, it MUST be more realistic than the last iteration. Like Watchmen did. And Miracleman. And Spider-Man when he first came out. And Incognito.

And, now like Dr. Death-a new twist on an old genre.

When I first read Aaron Schutz's story, Dr Death vs The Vampire, in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction I was struck that here was the most realistic depiction of the superhero to date. He has powers, but they're not all that powerful. He fights evil, but not the kind that wear ridiculous circus outfits. He's not all good...or is he? I mean, he puts old ladies out of their misery.

Hopefully, Dr Death will get noticed enough to impact the genre. The striving for realism will propel the superhero forward. More and more all people want to watch is superhero movies. Look at the number of superhero movies made in the 50's (none) compared to today.


A. Kaviraj is an artist, writer, and story consultant at Champion City Comics. His work includes The End of Paradise, Tales From The Future, Doctor Death vs The Vampire, and Doctor Death vs The Zombie.

No comments:

Post a Comment