Sunday, August 28, 2011

At the Movies: Superheroes and Such

Superhero movies are all in vogue in my world. Films featuring our favorite super-powered heroes from our adolescence do brisk trade at the box office, and it's a sure bet that every summer, there will at least be several blockbusters bearing the well-known names from the comic books of our childhood.

Needless to say, the superheroes of my world are quite different from those in yours.  For one thing, from Superwoman to Spider Woman, from the Watchwomen to the X-Women, all the heroic characters in the big-name comic books are female.  The vast majority of male characters are nothing but dudes in distress who also double as temporary sexual conquests that commonly last no longer than a few panels, or an issue at the most.  Any longer-lasting male characters usually play the role of a long-suffering yet intensely devoted lover, or secretary, or domestic servant.  The only distinguishing feature these men possess over those of the long litany of nameless playthings, is that they are privy to the secret identities of our masked crusaders.  If there are any story arcs about them in the glossy prestige titles, it's more than likely to involve being kidnapped and (more often than you think) being violated in some way before being rescued.