25 June 2007

Superhero stories

Jim Henley asks what superhero stories are for, and has a good answer.
If science fiction is the literature of ideas, the superhero story is the literature of ethics. Or say, rather, it should be.
The core question of the superhero story might be phrased as What do we owe other people? One problem is that superhero stories have typically answered the question before they've barely asked it: “With great power must come great responsibility!“ Spider-Man's Uncle Ben tells us. Are you sure about that? And how much is “great,“ anyway? What part of my life can I keep back for myself?
The whole piece is that intriguing.

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