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← The Poetry of Science

Geoff 21's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by Geoff 21

Musing over the obvious similarities between the gods, heroes and powers of ancient myth and the superheroes of DC/Marvel comics they seem like a paradigm for how people relate to religions and how they build them.

Adversarial stories with characters whose powers are usually explained by hastily cobbled-together misunderstandings of the latest scientific advances (The Hulk - radiation, Spiderman - DNA). But they are at least predominantly secular; the religious right try unsuccessfully to ape their style but can't do it. Sean Faircloth's 'Attack of the Theocrats' book cover would look to be strategically right on the money. By now I expect CERN has been attributed its own superhero.

In the same way as American culture has designed its own history it has been constructing a secular pantheon of gods. Shortfalls of knowledge by the authors appears to have little effect on the numbers, or level of enlightenment, of their readers. Since there are now 'Graphic Novels', like the 'Spider Jerusalem' or 'Preacher' series, there is an evolving arena of debate within and between comics and even the perhaps the educationally deprived follow these stories.

What has already been accomplished so well by Seth McFarlane with cartoons might also be done with the graphic novel.

What about a 'The Atheist' superhero, whose superpower is exposure of another hero's justification as imaginary, at which point their powers disappear like a puff of theology? I imagine an ironic style, a deep melodious voice with an English accent and an ever-courteous attack-mode...

Wed, 22 Aug 2012 12:40:38 UTC | #951135