A Digital Storytelling Blog

A Digital Storytelling Blog

Super Thinking on Superheroes

Super Thinking on Superheroes

It took me a long time to get to this assignment. Because I do not like superheroes, I wanted this assignment to be the absolute last thing I had to do for the week (besides the summary). To begin, I read How Ancient Legends Gave Birth to Modern Superheroes. I found the concept of proto-superheroes that Nevins spoke about very interesting. Though he said they would be difficult to bring back with today’s modern superheroes, I think it could be interesting. Could you imagine modern superheroes versus proto-superheroes? It would make for quite the battle scene if you ask me.

After reading, I moved onto the Shape of Stories video and the suggested first ever Superman Cartoon. It’s funny because, after watching Vonnegut’s lecture, I knew exactly which method Superman would follow. To me, it follows the common “man in the hole” pattern that everyone knows and loves. Superman begins with Loris going to interview the Villain as he has made threats to the city. Once Loris gets to his lair, she is tied up and watches as he makes his evil threats come to life. BUT WAIT! In swoops Superman to save Loris, as well as the city from further destruction, as he places the Villain in jail, placing the city in the upward slope also mentioned in Vonnegut’s lecture. I feel like this is a pretty common pattern in the few superhero movies and clips I have seen. Someone or the city is always in trouble, with the superhero saving the day. It just has become the classic superhero storyline that the media audience has come to love.

However, the thing with superheroes is that we only see bits and pieces of a whole storyline. Think about Batman for example. When the first movie came out, it was all we knew and maybe assumed that is how his story ends. However, movies came to follow, continuing the storyline. We never truly know the end of the story until all movies (or comics I guess) are released, at least until spin offs and sequels come to follow. In today’s media age, we may never know the true ending of a story as another sequel could always be released years down the road.

Maybe this is why superheroes are so popular. Maybe we like to assume our own ending, or maybe we love the anticipation of a future movie to continue Vonnegut’s shape of stories, as well as the story of our favorite heroes.



1 thought on “Super Thinking on Superheroes”

  • One of the things I was hoping people would get out of the readings is that “superhero” doesn’t have to be defined by what Marvel and DC do. One could make a case for many characters from mythology and folklore as superheros, or Sherlock Holmes for that matter. Or that kid in Baby Driver. In this course, we get to make of the superhero concept what we want. If we don’t like superheroes as they are, then we can make them as we like. Or we can destroy them, or shackle them, or critique them – whatever works for us.

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