05 March 2012

Long Live Superman!

Umberto Eco, the writer of the article “The Myth of Superman,” takes the legendary superhero Superman, just as the title implies, and analyzes whether or not it’s truly a myth. Cleveland born Jerry Siegal and Canadian born Joe Shuster are the names of the creators of Superman. Superman was created in 1932 but was not publically known until around 1938. The creators of superman were just little boys when they started thinking of this amazing character. Seventy four years later, Superman still remains. Healthy, strong, and still popular, he still lives on. Eco believes he should be nearing his death since he has been around so long. In order to keep Superman known and popular, readers have to feel some kind of connection with him. In”Understanding Comics,” McCloud uses the same method to keep his reader in the book, simply relating the book to the readers everyday life does the trick. Considering Superman’s story does not seem very relatable with the super powers and all, you need to look outside the box. You will realize how much Superman is like us. He lives a normal life during the day by going to work as a shy nerdy journalist but by night he becomes this strong willed, humble, powerful man. This can relate to us because during the day many people go to work and are very professional but by night the alcohol comes out and so does their personality. Clark Kent is the name he goes by and his lover’s name is Lois Lane. Having a love story behind the scenes also allows a connection with the reader. Keeping this love alive and not taking it to another level, the writers continue to string out the relationship to allow Superman to go on and continue to be timeless. Something like marriage would start to put an end to Superman. The writers continue to keep the timelessness alive but they also have to be sure to apply the morality to him. Going back to the love between Clark Kent and Lois Lane, if the love continues so can the stories.
With constant inevitable endings, writers have a tough time trying to surprise the reader. Reading a superman article or some kind of reading, the reader knows how the ending is going to happen. Superman will defeat the enemy and everyone lives happily ever after. Without having an unpredictable ending, the writers have to think completely outside the box and come up with something extraordinary! Superman can do so many powerful things even if he were to tell you what he was doing, did it right in front of you, and showed you proof you wouldn’t be able to believe it. For example, he has the power to change the world, feed the hungry, make world peace, and fix problems in the government but instead, he fights everyday crime and saves random civilians. For Superman to continue to be popular, he must do this because this is what he is known for. All the crimes he solves and people he saves, will never stop. If he was to solve the major problems in the world, there would be no more Superman, no more Clark Kent.
Superman will always be a myth. The world will always be in need for a superhero and the world will never be perfect. Being around for 70+ years, Superman and his writers have done a great job at keeping him alive and engaging the reader to the point they feel a connection between them and Superman. Eco is completely correct when he explains this. Even before this particular superhero was created, a superhero was around, doing some of the same things. Superman has it all, and will continue to be awesome if the writers continue to show morality but also the timelessness.

1 comment:

  1. You've got some in-depth analysis of Superman through McCloud here, but where's your summary? Without that, a lot of your points don't make sense, and some seem inaccurate.