Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

March 28, 2013

Also It's Weird To Call Superheroes By Their First Names

Marvel's use of X-Men related imagery and concepts as potentially valuable tools in getting at nuances of racism, classism, sexism and homophobia has a generated a couple of posts on other sites -- here and here -- and likely a lot of well-meaning, agitated comments threads of the potentially high-traffic variety. The only thing that pops into my head when I hear about stuff like that is that these are really broad metaphors at best, and a first-class ticket to the Land Of Stupid at worst. As someone in an old TCJ interview stated, marrying whomever one loves isn't really the same as fighting robots at the Mall with the laser beams that fire out of your face, so you have to be careful drawing equivalencies. I do think broad, poppy metaphors have a place and are sometimes very useful rhetorical tools, particularly with young people, but they're rarely as all-encompassing as some folks seem to believe, nor do they reward rigorous application and study the way some people assert they can.
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink

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