Truth. Justice. Minesweeper.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

I had started off trying to extract some kind of chronology out of the Kane book, to keep everything straight in my head, but that idea kind of fell apart as I read the next few chapters. The whole superhero-supervillain struggle just doesn't split up into year-by-year events that neatly.

One of the chapters I just finished was about the Liberators, who I had never heard of before. They were a group of seven superheroes who went around freeing the little towns that had been taken over by supervillains as their own little kingdoms. I wonder what ever happened to these guys--none of their names have come up in my other reading. Alligatrix, Dwindler, Dayglo, Verve, Silverfox . . . I hope the book has a 'where are they now' part at the end.

Then the next chapter is all about comic books. I must admit I was kind of surprised to see this here. I mean, he's writing about history; what do comics have to do with anything?

But here's the point. Superheroes had been around in comic books for almost fifty years before they showed up in real life. So everybody knew about them. Therefore when people first got superpowers (something that Kane has no explanation for), they've got a model for how to behave. Step 1: Acquire superpowers. Step 2: Put on Spandex. Step 3: Choose cool name. Step 4: Choose--hero or villain?

Makes sense to me. Some guys figured out they could fly and throw cars around and stuff. They had read comic books. Therefore they did not choose to join the circus or become firefighters or any of the other things you or I would do; they put on masks and started robbing banks. It wasn't sensible, but it's what they did. And nobody could stop them, except other guys with superpowers. And here we are.

It almost sounds inevitable. And depressing. We've got to live in Comic Book Land just because a bunch of jerks in the late '80s didn't have any original ideas? Pfff.
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