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Holy Men in Tights! Academic Superhero Conference

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the better-hold-it-in-a-big-basement dept.

Sci-Fi 301

Malfourmed writes "The University of Melbourne's Cinema Studies Program, School of Art History, Cinema, Classics & Archaeology is hosting a four day conference (and fancy dress ball and movie programme) on superhoeroes and supervillains. The interdisciplinary conference will address the varying roles, identities, and social functions that these superheroes serve. Topics include censorship; industry and franchise differentiation (eg DC vs Marvel); mythology; the female superhero ("It has been a very much male-centred universe," co-convener Saige Walton said. "They need some more chicks."); ethnicity, class and race; diverse media formats (cinema, comics, computer games, television) ; the resurgence in the cult of superpowers in recent cinema; super-auteurs (eg Frank Miller, Alan Moore, Tezuka Osamu, Grant Morrison); fan culture; the science and physics of the superhero; ancient superheroes; and the 'hero' who isn't 'super'."

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Where and when? (2, Funny)

saskboy (600063) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755416)

"
When? June 11th ~ 8pm
Where? The Bat Cave
"

Oh shucks. My bat cave attire is at the cleaners that day.

Re:Where and when? (1)

datafr0g (831498) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755555)

Same Bat Time
Same Bat Channel

Re:Where and when? (2, Funny)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755651)

Holy Woomera, Batman! How can we get there?

Simple, Robin! We'll take the Bat-Kangaroo!

Why (2, Insightful)

MarsDude (74832) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755424)

Why not just leave it at being entertainment.
Making it a science takes all the fun away.

Re:Why (2, Interesting)

packeteer (566398) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755454)

Making science into entertainment has ruined it for me to.

Re:Why (1)

MarsDude (74832) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755524)

Yeah... that could be even worse !

Re:Why (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 9 years ago | (#12756002)

Q: What do literary prigs say after making love? ...

A: It was bad for me, was it bad for you too?

Re:Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12755576)

Huh?

How does that affect the entertainment value of it?

Why is a good superhero comic less fun if someone also wrote something scientific about superheros?

Who's forcing you to read said scientific article?

Re:Why (1)

starwed (735423) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755637)

What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent.
--Richard Feynman [wikipedia.org]

Re:Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12755657)

Why is the parent moderated as insightful?

The conference sounds like it's about analyzing comics as literary works and superheros as symbols and other liberal arts stuff.

They won't explaining why Wolverine's adamantium coated bone structure would kill him in a few days (despite his mutant healing power) or why he would be deaf.

Re:Why (1)

Mycroft_VIII (572950) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755673)

The bone coating isn't 100% surface area, more like 'bands' around the surface. So blood flow and such is specifically not meaningfully hindered.
Also last I checked (over a year ago IIRC) he'd lost the adamantium some how (and had BONE claws, not that I see how on that one)
How would he be deaf though?

Mycroft

Re:Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12755772)

Aha! That does clear things, although it sounds like retconning but that's okay.

There used to be a Villain Supply website where supervillains could buy henchmen, devices and procedures. I wish it was still online so I could post a link but it's gone. You could order the adamantium coating procedure had a couple warnings, including one about becoming deaf due to adamantium coated hammer, anvil, and stirrup bones in your ear. Of course, that was assuming complete adamantium coating of all bones.

And i though that bone claws thing happened back when Magneto had Asteriod M in X-Men #1.

FIREFOX WORLD RECORD IN FINLAND! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12755719)

June 07, 2005 World record in Firefox usage to Finns It seems that Finns are the most eager users of the Mozilla Firefox. Over 30% of web surfers are choosing FF for their main browser in Finland. It is the highest percent in the world. Digitoday.fi story (in finnish) with a nice map! CNET.com story Maybe my Firefox T-shirt has made an impact :) (Via Timo) http://www.digitoday.fi/showPage.php?page_id=11&ne ws_id=45022 [digitoday.fi]

Re:FIREFOX WORLD RECORD IN FINLAND! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12755859)

Also, Finns are the most homosexual people in the world ... a mere coincidence?

I DON'T THINK SO!

For you maybe (3, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755930)

Ok, for some people mindlessly devouring puerile comic book entertainment appeals to the immature eleven year old in them.

But for some of us, devouring puerile comic book entertainment and debating it as if they were something worthy of serious analysis appeals to the immature smart aleck eleven year old in us.

[disclaimer: the following was written by my inner child]

Now, for a demonstration of black belt level irony: those of you say we shouldn't talk about comic books actually hold the same opinions and have the same attitudes as those who say we shouldn't read them at all. Opinion: You both agree that the idea that comic books are anything based on them could have any literary value is absurd. You only differ in that you find comic books entertaining and they do not; they find pretentious intellectual blather entertaining and you do not. Some of us like both. Attitude: Both the literary stuffed shirts and the literary know-nothings share the attitude that people who don't like the same things as them need to be corrected. In short, you are both prigs. But I mean that in a nice way.

[/disclaimer]

Now, for you pleasure (or mortification (or both)), I will repost my K5 diary in which I analyze Spider-Man 2 on a level that would probably get me beaten up if I did it in my high school English class. By my teacher.


I finally saw Spider-Man 2 last night

I was trying to see I Robot but it apparently has disappeared from the local cineplex, so I settled for Spider-Man 2. But I enjoyed the movie. I thought the movie was not only very well done, it was very sly. After I got home, I went on the Internet to see what the critics had caught and what they'd missed. It turned out they missed a lot.

I should say that if you haven't seen the movie and want to figure it out for yourself, you shouldn't read any further.

There are three major story lines: Peter Parker's relationship problems with MJ, Spider-man's conflict with Doctor Octavius, and Spider-man's conflict with his own powers. These are resolved in reverse order.

I want to focus on the resolution of Spider-man's conflict with his own powers. This is resolved in the scene where he rescues the passengers on a runaway train. My jaw absolutely dropped when I saw this scene, because it has to be the most blatant crucifixion scene I've seen in any film since the end of Blade Runner.

Not only that, it is concluded with a bald-faced rebirth and resurrection scene. You could say the subsequent bit where Spidey is passed hand to hand over the heads of the passengers resembled a kind of baptism. And it does resemble baptism in this respect: it's was a kind of symbolic embrace of the new person by his community. However, I think perhaps this might take the Christian iconography a bit far -- I think that the filmmakers might have been reaching for a more universal pre-Christian symbolism. The ceremony reminded me of new age "re-birthing" rites. Of course it should be noted that Christian baptism by immersion also echos this: the new person emerges from water, the archetypal feminine element.

The fact that Tobey Maguire also plays this scene unmasked is very interesting. I think the primary reason for this is that such a symbolically pregnant scene wouldn't work if played by an animated doll -- it requires an actor to energize it. But it works on other levels too. For the superhero, being unmasked is a kind of nakedness (which one or two critics did pick up on). Just as at birth one is physically naked, and at death psychically naked.

I almost laughed when the crowd lays Spidey down gently, and somebody says "My God, he's just a kid! About the same age as my son." This is only one or two steps removed from "Isn't he cute! He's got Grandpa's eyes."

you know it is late... (3, Funny)

Jesse_132 (830242) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755425)

When you think you misread the title of the article, then realize no you didn't... it is what /. posts at night when all good geeks are in bed.

Re:you know it is late... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12755452)

You mean what /. posts at daytime. Good geeks fear the day-star.

Re:you know it is late... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12755475)

Eh, well, I *did* mis-parse the first sentence: (Holy men) in tights! ... flashing back to memories of Catholic school.....

Academic men in tights? (2, Funny)

October_30th (531777) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755498)

My first impression of the title was:

...Men in Tights! Academic...Conference

Having been to numerous scientific conferences even the idea of men in tights in an academic conference made me shudder.

Re:you know it is late... (2, Interesting)

pimpsoftcom (877143) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755728)

You must not be a good geek. All the 'good' geeks I know are codeing this time of night. Its prime hacking time. :P

Women in comic books (5, Interesting)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755428)

What always makes me laugh is how otakus try to justify their objectification of women in comics as somehow empowering to women. By cladding the female characters in skin-tight suits that leave nothing to the imagination and giving them powers, they are somehow less objectified than you'd assume at first glance. Oh no, they are totally powerful, according to the geeks.

Of course, at no point are they ever in charge, in normal clothes, homely, or out of the control of some male superhero.

I've jacked off to Rogue in her undies many times, so I ought to know a thing or two about objectifying comic book women. That doesn't excuse the industry for its blatant subjection of women, though, it only reinforces the stereotype of geeks as misogynists.

Re:Women in comic books (1, Redundant)

dancingmad (128588) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755472)

I've jacked off to Rogue in her undies many times, so I ought to know a thing or two about objectifying comic book women.

Wow. Just wow.

Re:Women in comic books (1)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755516)

To be fair, 99% of male superheroes are attractive, muscular, wearing skintight outfits, and under the control of some male superhero even if it be indirectly through the Justive League or Canadian Government.

Re:Women in comic books (3, Insightful)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755531)

Yes, but the authors are also males and are projecting their conception of a "strong male" into their artwork. It means rugged looks, broad shoulders, muscular physique.

When they project their impression of "strong female", we get diminutive height, waspy waist, large breasts, well-shaped vulva, and perfect skin. They have confused (or purposefully replaced) strong with sexy.

So only sexy female superheroes exist. Unsexy females can't possibly exist because it would shatter the geek audience's preconceived notions of what a strong female looks like.

They celebrate the male characters by drawing them in that way, yet they demean the female characters by the same drawing techniques. It's not something that can be cured overnight, but it is something that ought to be taken note of and resisted.

Re:Women in comic books (4, Funny)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755572)

As a male with a sickly gray "ethnic" look, narrow shoulders, and flabby physique (meaning man boobs and a fat ass), I feel demeaned by comic book artists.

Re:Women in comic books (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12755629)

Ahh don't feel bad, there have been a number of non-typical protomales both in the superhero and supervillain category. Two that come to mind at the moment, neither good-looking nor slim are the Blob (X-Men) and the Kingpin (Spidey, both villains) as a superhero, Nightcrawler is also quite ugly, and so is Beast (both X-Men). In addition was not a woman (technically the same although with a different personality/world view) both the most powerful superhero and supervillain ? i'm talking about the Phoenix / Dark Phoenix (X-Men) even Galactus only destroyed one planet at a time by feeding on it, the Dark Phoenix made a star go supernova to feed on the released energies and destroyed its entire (populated) solar system at her first try as a villain, not bad for a lady.

Re:Women in comic books (1)

neongrey (884718) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755597)

I don't find the drawing of conventionally attractive women demeaning at all. Nor do I feel that it says that all strong women fit into that sort of description. Just that these women do. It's a comic book, for chrissakes. It's silly to expect any character therein to look particularly like a real person. Just like TV. There are no ugly people on TV, and the people who -are- are "TV ugly, not ugly ugly". Besides, unsexy women don't sell. Not to geeks, not to any majour aspect of the buying public. Particularly not in a visual medium. Speaking as a fat chick, I don't want to read comics about fat chicks. I don't necessarily think it's something that needs to be cured.

Re:Women in comic books (3, Informative)

master_p (608214) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755632)

hey have confused (or purposefully replaced) strong with sexy.

Actually 'sexy' means 'biologically strong'. A female is perceived as sexy because her body shape 'promises' healthy children, and thus survival of the genes. The same goes for men.

Re:Women in comic books (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12755636)

Tell us more about your jacking off.

Note to Moderators: Dancin Santa is a fucking asshole.

Re:Women in comic books (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12755525)

I thought the same thing when I saw Sin City the other week. I have two daughters and I find that it bugs me to see blatant stereotyping of women. It didn't bug me before. I know it is hypocritical - in my early 20's I spent a fortune in strip bars with my buddies. It took becoming a father to turn me into a feminist I guess.

Nice moderation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12755557)

No sense in having a discussion about the blatant sexism in comic books. Nosiree.

Re:Women in comic books (3, Informative)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755685)

otakus

Otaku. One otaku, two otaku, three otaku, four. It's a Japanese word, and so it doesn't change in the plural.

Re:Women in comic books (4, Interesting)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755690)


You haven't read many comics lately, have you?

The women in X-Men and a number of other comics from Marvel and others are not exactly sex slaves (unless you've read the X-rated X-Men comic some knockoff did). Rogue might be a bit stereotyped, but Storm faced down Wolverine several times with authority - and Logan is about as macho a superhero as it gets.

Besides, this is anti-male feminist bullshit. Every woman (except maybe Andrea Dworkin, who's a total loss anyway) wants to be a sex goddess and every man wants to be a sex god. And the psychology behind this goes a lot deeper than the surface motivations attributed to either sex by the feminists (or by male misogynists). Without some comprehension of human and cultural evolution and primate neuroscience anything said about this is likely to be bullshit.

Re:Women in comic books (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12755708)

I was about to respond to you because you seemed to have a relatively moderate approach to the topic.

Unfortunately, you prove in another post [slashdot.org] that you think women are whores. Glad I didn't waste my time trying to engage you in a serious discussion.

Re:Women in comic books (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12755787)

Unfortunately, you prove in another post that you think women are whores.

What in the world makes you think his post applies to all women?

Glad I didn't waste my time trying to engage you in a serious discussion.

An idle threat.

Re:Women in comic books (1)

PsiPsiStar (95676) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755820)

Besides, this is anti-male feminist bullshit. Every woman (except maybe Andrea Dworkin, who's a total loss anyway) wants to be a sex goddess and every man wants to be a sex god.

A man is capable of having children with multiple women. For a woman to do the opposite is not as advantageous. Because of this, the strategies are different.

Women may want love, power, and attention and may enjoy sex. But compared to men there are a minority of women out there who really aspire to be 'sex gods.'

Re:children (3, Informative)

philbert26 (705644) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755924)

A man is capable of having children with multiple women. For a woman to do the opposite is not as advantageous.

It is if the woman can keep it a secret. In many species, including humans, females will mate with other males while their partner is otherwise engaged. That way they vary the genetic mix of their children, while still keeping a male partner to look after them.

Re:Women in comic books (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755954)

A man is capable of having children with multiple women. For a woman to do the opposite is not as advantageous. Because of this, the strategies are different.

I just have to say, this probably doesn't apply to you, but the men I know who subscribe most strongly to this hypothesis are those who have the least experience with women. Not that there isn't some truth in the hypothesis, it's just that it smacks of nineteenth century gentleman scholar science, the problem of which is this: theories that explain everything really explain nothing.

Romance Novels? (1)

NEOtaku17 (679902) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755736)

You mean like how all men in romance novels are super buff and handsome? How can we stand for this! We must stop the objectification of men in romance novels now!!! Come on man give me a break. Here's an experiment for you: Go to your local book store and go take a look at the covers of romance novals and then go take a look at the covers of all the comic books? Do you honestly think you will find more barely clothed women on the front of comic books then you will barely clothed men on the front of romance novels. Yeah that's what I thought.

Re:Romance Novels? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12755743)

So you're saying that it is okay to objectify women because somewhere, someone is objectifying men?

Moral Relativity City, here we come!

No... (1)

NEOtaku17 (679902) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755769)

So you're saying that it is okay to objectify women because somewhere, someone is objectifying men?

No I'm saying that blaming the male gender is absolutely rediculous because it is seen equally throughout the female gender. Any responsible person would point out that it is taking place in both genders, and not make men out to be some kind of monsters and say nothing about females.

Re:No... (1)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755778)

I think it bears notice that it is Men in a position of power over Women pretty much the world over. With such things as the colloquial "Old Boys Club", women are at a severe disadvantage to men in most aspects of society. They are typically paid less on average, they are defacto excluded from the upper echelons in business and government, and historically they have been seen as lesser humans because of their gender.

So, yes, there is a problem of inequality between men and women which makes the actions of men against women more atrocious than an identical action of women against men.

Re:No... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12755817)

So you're ready to say that objectification of women isn't so bad because women do it too?

Or is it that the objectification of either sex is reprehensible and that women ought to stop doing it along with the men?

Your point is not exactly clear.

Re:Romance Novels? (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 9 years ago | (#12756008)

Not to mention the women in those novels. Judging by the covers, they're both nubile and buxom and dress to show it.

Re:Women in comic books (1)

PsiPsiStar (95676) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755796)

What's with equating sexualization with objectification?

If you're trying to invoke the subject-object dichotomy, you'd have a hard time arguing that women in comic books are seen as property because they're sexualized. There may be some cases of this, but it's not the common theme.

If you think the sexualization of women is disempowering to women and the sexualization of men is empowering to them... well, you're welcome to your own opinion.

Re:Women in comic books (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 9 years ago | (#12756019)

Leaving aside the graphic novel genre, I'd say women are objectified but not sexualized; that is to say they are depicted in a way that makes them objects of sexual interest, but are not depicted as beings with sexual behaviors.

Re:Women in comic books (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 9 years ago | (#12756025)

O Great Oracle Known As Google,

define:misogynist

"a misanthrope who dislikes women in particular"

I hardly think you could describe most geeks, comic book authors, and/or comic book readers as people who dislike women. Sure, some of us might not be very adept at talking to or relating to women, but I'm guessing that most of us would do just about anything for the women in our lives. That doesn't mean our comic book characters have to wear a body-concealing environment suit anytime they go out to fight crime. Why can't we appreciate the female form physically, just as much as we admire the tenacity, intelligence, and strength of character of our superheroines?

Can I say that? (3, Interesting)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755432)

"It has been a very much male-centred universe," co-convener Saige Walton said. "They need some more chicks."

Interestingly, a male would lose some edge saying that.

I salute you Saige, and your message. I just wish that wording the message the same, in my shoes, as a man, wouldn't get me an unsavory label.

Re:Can I say that? (1)

Jaruzel (804522) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755640)

I was about to get all indignant when I read that, thinking that Saige was a man, because yes indeed, defining women as 'chicks' is demeaning and counterproductive. It wasn't util I actually RTFA, it realised that Saige was female, in fact the exact article extract is:

"It has been a very much male-centred universe," Ms Walton said. "They need some more chicks."

Note the 'Ms' - I know /. editorialise (it's one of the things that make it uniquely /.), but in this case the extract should have been left unmolested.

-Jar.

It is about time... (0, Redundant)

chrono13 (879557) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755447)

'hero' who isn't 'super'

Now it can finally be put to rest!
Batman and Robin are straight.

so I says to the guy I says (5, Funny)

aendeuryu (844048) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755458)

So he says to me he says, "Do you want to be baaaaaad?" And I say, "Yeah baby YEAH! Surf's up space ponies! We're making gravy WITHOUT THE LUMPS!!! AAAAAAAAAAAhahahahahaHAAAAAA!!!"

too obscure? (1)

aendeuryu (844048) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755501)

I can't be the only one to know abou the best super-villain ever...

Re:too obscure? (1)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755534)

The crazy midnight bomber what bombs at midnight?

Come on - the Night of a Million Zillion Ninjas was better.

Re:too obscure? - I miss The Tick & TEMBWBAM ; (1)

iamcf13 (736250) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755806)

About 10 years ago I taped The Tick Vs. The Tick episode from the old cartoon of the same name.

PURE UNADULTERATED COMEDY GOLD!!! XD (^_^)

I have it on tape twice. The second time full and complete.

Unfortunately, not long after that, the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was bombed.

After that, this episode of THE TICK appparently was never aired again.

Terrorism sucks on so many levels...Most importantly the tragic loss of life and senseless destruction of property. To a lesser extent, in the aftermath of such events, the entertainment industry gets 'cold feet' putting out 'related' content so close to tragedies like this.

Case in point: Collateral Damage and Big Trouble were mothballed in the wake of 2001-09-11 but, eventually, they were commercially released.

Apparently, there was too much money invested in both those films to shelve them for good unseen in the wake of 'related current events' which prevented them from enjoying a 'normal' release.

Re:too obscure? - I miss The Tick & TEMBWBAM ; (2, Funny)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755987)

I had a "Boom baby boom! I'm the Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs at Midnight" quote in my sig for a couple weeks. I think it cost me a few karma in the hours after 9/11 before I realized and changed it.

Re:too obscure? - I miss The Tick & TEMBWBAM ; (1)

MilenCent (219397) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755991)

Oh man what a shame. The Tick vs. The Tick is possibly the best episode of a show where every show has great moments, and over half of them are at least extremely good.

That's almost as much shame as the fact that you probably won't see the animated The Tick on DVD for decades down the road. Rights issues suck.

Re:too obscure? - I miss The Tick & TEMBWBAM ; (1)

iamcf13 (736250) | more than 9 years ago | (#12756013)

After decades in limbo due to the music rights, Heavy Metal finally came out on DVD. For this reason, WKRP In Cincinnati will probably never come out on DVD -- Paying for the music rights would make the series too expensive to buy on DVD.

Re:so I says to the guy I says (1)

MilenCent (219397) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755982)

You've got nothing on me, I'm just an ordinary electrician, I, I-- BAD IS GOOD BABY! DOWN WITH GOVERNMENT!!

Shame The Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs At Midnight only got one real episode.

Ethnicity in comics? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12755463)

"You got cracker farm-boy Luke Skywalker: Nazi poster-boy, blond hair, blue eyes. And then you've got Darth Vader, the blackest brother in the galaxy. A Nubian god --"

"-- What's a Nubian?"

Re:Ethnicity in comics? (1)

Citizen G (584288) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755908)

Yo, What about Luke Cage, whom Nicholas Cage got his screen name from......I would update him as an Entrepreneur, like P Diddy, or Jay Z, as owner of HEROS FOR HIRE, a body gaurd slash personal protection agency for the rich and famous. Not that lame ass approach that marvel has taken with him & most other non-white characters (except for Storm, who is represented in a manner more appealing to young white males - Shite, she's so under stated in the films, that Hale Berry asked WHATS UP WITH THAT ? But back to Luke Cage and the view I have of his company, Pretty much like it is in reality, in regards to protection for celebritys and a brother coming up rough & hungry for the good life, hell look at 50 cent (kindda resembles what I see luke Cage a lot like, rough, tough & smart enough to make a fortune for himself. I mean lets face it, Batman is a rich boy with trauma issues that have manifested in a outward expression of violence & role playing (kick everyones ass & take names later) he's got to be a Republican, bussiness man by day vigilante by night, who's motto is "might with fright makes right." Now you know if a brother or ANY OTHER acted in a same manner, every citizen in the county would be alarmed and i'm sure the police chief wouldn't be sending him no signal, at least not one that was friendly.... now I'm not hating on Bats, I like the character & most of the other pantheons of power very much, I would just like some real thought given to lesser developed characters and a realization that if you look at the wider picture as a whole.... all you see in these fantasys are all white, mostly male heros and a universe full of the same... in that world minorities are an anomely with a few exceptions but when you come out the theatre or turn off the tube or monitor, the human disporia is quite different, white is not the majority in the whole human family. Ya Dig, Nuff Said

Re:Ethnicity in comics? - A rebutal involving SW (1)

iamcf13 (736250) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755974)

And then you've got Darth Vader, the blackest brother in the galaxy.

In voice only.

Lucas hired James Earl Jones to be the voice of Darth Vader. If you've seen Episodes III to VI in the STAR WARS movie series, it is easy to see why: Jones' peformance in the films gives the vocal embodiment of pure villiany for the most (in)famous bad guy in movies ever created to date. Race had nothing to do with Lucas' casting decision. Though David Prowse was deeply annoyed to find out he would be dubbed in Episode IV, it didn't stop him from appearing as the body of Darth Vader in the two follow-up sequels, Episodes V and VI.

On a related note, I have seen a hilariously insightful move about race relations, perceptions, and prejudices if anyone openminded and mature enough is interested: The Gristle. [imdb.com]

Re:Ethnicity in comics? - A rebutal involving SW (1)

REBloomfield (550182) | more than 9 years ago | (#12756036)

You obviously haven't seen the same films that myself and the parent poster have.....

Look up Chasing Amy next time you're in the video store.....

Holy Men in Tights? (4, Funny)

kingofalaska (885947) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755468)

For some reason, it seems more like many of these 'superheros' in the comics are wearing their underwear on the outside of their tights. That raises so many questions, not the least of which would be: are they wearing 2 pairs of underwear?

History tells us that many of the Celts went into battle naked. This was disconcerting to their foes. I wonder how popular That comic would be?

On another note, "Holy Men in Tights!" sounds like the next scandal.

The King

Rural Alaska nuclear power gets legislative backing [blogspot.com]

Re:Holy Men in Tights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12755672)

"History tells us that many of the Celts went into battle naked. This was disconcerting to their foes. I wonder how popular That comic would be?"

From your blog [blogspot.com] : "But most content themselves with the weapons nature gave them: they go naked into battle..."

You gotta have balls to fight naked. Someone had to say it.

Re:Holy Men in Tights? (2, Funny)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755701)


At least BEFORE you fight naked...

Afterwards you get to join the camp whores.

Holy men? (5, Funny)

Ponzicar (861589) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755490)

When I saw "Holy men in tights", I thought it was about another Catholic sex abuse scandal.

superhoeroes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12755492)

Must admit that I almost read it superwhores:)

Re:superhoeroes? (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755529)

With all the merchandising you would have been correct.

Re:superhoeroes? (1)

bkubi (834026) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755616)

If your post is GPLed, does this make slashdot GPLed too?

I can go like myself (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12755504)

Because whenever I leave a massage parlor the masseuse calls me "suppaman".

More chicks (1)

aaribaud (585182) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755541)

I say bring back Power Girl by Wallace Wood.

Oh, and bring back Wally, too.

Obligatory link (4, Funny)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755560)

http://www.superdickery.com/ [superdickery.com]

Superheroes being dicks.
And other stuff so amazing it... sucks.

request (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12755584)

A CowboyNeal comic...

maybe some panels of him bitch-slapping Zonk for posting dupes.. yeah i'd like that.

Batman is the best superhero AND comic. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12755588)

Bruce Wayne is a normal guy that everybody can relate to. He has no special powers to rely on; only the technology that his wealth affords him. He keeps in shape through rigorous training and is skilled in martial arts. He is a self-made superhero. None of that bullshit radioactive nonsense (what superheor ISN'T brought into existence by some type of radioactivity?). Gotham is a dark, lonely, unforgiving place. I think the animated series captured it the best, although the Dark Knight graphic novel was pretty good. Batman embodies what a superhero should be, and yet he doesn't play by the rules. He wasn't "gifted" or "chosen"; he took it upon himself to make a difference in a cruel world, and to strike back and get revenge. Batman is the best superhero because he is the most human.

No radiation involved? (2, Informative)

AussieVamp2 (636560) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755675)


Superman
Wonder Woman
Green Lantern
The Flash
Hawkman/girl
Martian Manhunter
Aquaman

hmm, maybe the justice league is radiation prejudiced ;-)

Re:No radiation involved? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12755739)

While none of the mentioned superheros get their powers from radiation, most of them are either "gifts from God", lifeforms from another planet, or involve some kind of magical item ("power ring", "flight belt", etc). At least the Flash's power is attributed to "hard water vapors" (LOL), so he is purely human but still has some kind of super power. Batman has no super powers, so he remains the most human.

Re:Batman is the best superhero AND comic. (4, Interesting)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755745)


Wolverine wasn't irradiated, and except for the Adamantium in his bones, and his mutant healing power, and highly developed senses, he's probably one of the more "human" superheroes.

I can't count Daredevil since he was irradiated - although later it was revealed that actually had nothing to do with his supersenses.

There are probably hundreds of non-irradiated superheroes, and probably hundreds of strictly human ones as well.

But you're probably right that Batman was the FIRST (or nearly so) of the strictly human ones (if you don't count myths and legends, but only comics.)

But to pick a superhero because he is most human is to underestimate the importance of the genre. The genre is nothing more than a modern manifestation of the human desire for a Transhuman existence. Therefore it is necessary that even the most human of superheroes be so superior to the average human (even Captain America can press 800 lbs which very few real humans can do) that they stand as a symbol of divinity. Even your Batman is not strictly human, both because of his technology and because of his vast experience - and that apparent inhuman nature is something he specifically trades on to intimidate his enemies.

OTOH, Superman, although a godlike entity, is represented in the comics as almost absurdly human, even to the point of being absurdly AMERICAN. I haven't read the stories in recent years, so they may have changed him, but I doubt it. His superpowers still make him a divinity, but DC went to great lengths to make him acceptable to humans.

Marvel did the same thing with their "teenage-angst superheroes" like Spiderman - which is why I never was as attracted to Spiderman as I was many other Marvel characters. Fortunately, they also provided seriously powerful entities as well - the success of the character Thanos - who is truly a demi-god and has actually BEEN a genuine divinity at least twice - and has been converted from a pure villain to an ambiguous character - is an example.

Even many of the Marvel supervillains have been altered to make them almost superheroes - Doctor Doom (my main man!) and Magneto, as well as Thanos, are examples. These characters tend to exaggerate human failings to a degree that makes them almost divine - but still understandable to humans, just like the gods of human myth such as Zeus or Odin (not to forget that even those gods are part of the Marvel pantheon.)

Superheroes and supervillains are about being "super" - which means more than human. And that is the bottom line to the literary genre.

Re:Batman is the best superhero AND comic. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12755910)

Even your Batman is not strictly human, both because of his technology and because of his vast experience

I'm trying to make sense of that statement, but I just can't. How could you possibly think such a thing? Experience makes somebody non-human? Technology makes somebody non-human? Okay, maybe if you've had your head chopped off and replaced with a computer, you can call yourself non-human, but simply using fancy cars makes you non-human now?

Re:Batman is the best superhero AND comic. (2, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755988)

Well, at the very least his level of experience makes him exceptional. Implausibly exceptional. Actually impossibly exceptional. I mean, is it signficantly more likely that you might obtain Batman's wealth, brains, experience, and technology on one hand, or that you get hit with some mysterious radiation that imbues you with strange powers? By significant, I mean, enough different that it might affect how you think or act in real life? No? Then why sweat the difference in your fantasy life. In that case, there is no difference in plausibility.

Batman is interesting because represents a kind of boiling point view of superherodom. Ordinary traits, like wealth, experience, and cunning, if raised to a sufficient level induce a kind of phase transition from normal human existence to super-human existence. Comic books have to have to operate by a kind of logic that explains the nature of the hero's super-human nature. That explanation is not only typically implausible to the point of impossibility, it has to be, in order to explain how the hero is exceptional to the point of impossibility. Batman, in practical terms, is no less implausible than any other super hero. Nor should be be.

Re:Batman is the best superhero AND comic. (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755917)

These characters tend to exaggerate human failings to a degree that makes them almost divine - but still understandable to humans, just like the gods of human myth such as Zeus or Odin

Norse mythology is something for itself. Odin did not create the world as such, but he killed Ymir and built Midgard aka Middle Earth from his remains. The Aesir were not the only gods, there were also norns and Vanir, another race of gods they were at war with. Overall, they were hardly supreme gods.

Nor were they all-knowing, all-powerful or immortal, and not very "divine" either. Odin himself sacrificed an eye to gain wisdom. Hod was blind. Balder was killed by deceit. Loki, the god of mischief tied a rope from his testicles to a goat's beard to make Skadi laugh. They drank mead and overall partied like vikings of their age. The coming Ragnarok (armageddon) is not by choice, but the collapse of their world. Odin himself will die at Ragnarok, swallowed by the Fenriswolf.

Many elements of Sci-Fi are graciously taken from norse myth. Take the wheel of Time and the horn at the last battle. Heimdall sounds the Giallarhorn to summon the gods to the final battle. Not surprising really, they were perfectly good "comic book" material of their time, though of course taken a lot more seriously. But the stories are nothing like say christianity.

Kjella

Re:Batman is the best superhero AND comic. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12755993)

The Phantom could drop Batman eight ways to Sunday.

Re:Batman is the best superhero AND comic. (1)

Mycroft_VIII (572950) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755749)

I largely agree with you. I've always liked Batman for just this reason. No powers other than 'born wealthy and smart and healthy' which could happen to anyone. And he's paid his dues so to speak in first watching his parents death by a villian and later by YEARS of hard work and rigorous training.
Another favorite of mine has been 'iron man' while here the technology goes well into comic book physics (where people can shrink to atomic size and still breath along with other nonsense), it's still basically a man using his brains put himself into the do-gooder bussiness in big way.
Another thing I like about Stark is the fact that in some respects he's a pretty real guy (tech aside). He may be a super hero, but he's also a recovering alcholic, doesn't have the healthiest of relationships with women, and can be a bit of a jerk to be honest.

Mycroft

Radiation and the superhero (4, Insightful)

BlightThePower (663950) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755781)

...its to do with time when most of the famous characters were created I think, there was a great deal of interest, and post 1945, collosal anxiety about radiation. I expect to see more modern creations having something to do with genetic modification and perhaps nanotechnology in their origin stories. These things don't necessarily happen by accident, I understand Stan Lee was thinking of issues of race and prejudice when he came up with idea of the X-men as being mutants persecuted for being who and what they were born as. Professor Xavier can be seen as a sort of Martin Luther King to Mangento's Malcolm X. In more recent times I've had the suspicion that this form has been reworked slightly to have more resonances with regard to society's treatment of homosexuality (I definitely got that feeling in the second film in the scene where, was it Iceman(?), goes home and his parents get upset when they find out what he is. Would appear to mirror many a "coming out" story).

This reflection of anxieties in popular art forms as a way of exploring or dealing with them is fairly well noted; for example, Bram Stoker's Dracula has an underlying theme of fear of supressed female sexuality, whereas Frankenstein is clearly all about fear of science. Its all the same thing really.

As an aside another reason Batman wins over his only DC rival, Superman, for readers internationally is that Superman is a little overly wrapped in the stars and stripes (of course "Red Son" had much fun playing with that aspect the strip) to the extent where his popularity waxes and wanes with regard to how people feel about the USA. He was big in the 1980s when American culture was at its zenith of being "cool" in Europe. Right now nobody wants to know really. He's always been and still is popular in countries that target the USA as a migration destination.

On closer examination though I think Superman is very symbolic but I think that Bruce Wayne/Batman is probably nearer the American dream ultimately. By day he's an enlightened capitalist in the modern American mould (rigorous businessman but very charitable etc) who still finds time to be a 'self made man' and act in a sort of "Wild West" state of mind by night.

Hang on, inherited wealth, wild west mentality, hangs out in a technologically advanced underground bunker...Batman=GWB? Holy known unknowns and unknown unknowns Batman! Makes you wonder if Wayne Industries had the contract for repairing the damage to Gotham done by the Batmobile and the Joker blowing stuff up. Meh, politics.

Re:IRonman was only human as well (1)

doyen2000 (879584) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755947)

Fom some comic's website

'Tony Stark was an inventor and businessman, he headed Stark Industries a company supplying state of the art weaponry to the military. Whilst on a trip to the East, (I guess it could not have been from eating fried foods and smoking) Stark was injured in the chest and invented an artificial heart in a chestplate that he had to wear at all times to survive, the chestplate became the basis of his Ironman armour. After further development he had a complete powered suit and took the Identity of Ironman, head of security at Stark Industries and crimefighter, although no one knew he was secretly Tony Stark.' It made me read engineering books when I was little.. I wanted to jump buildings and here there was a possibility to do it. Rather than Superman.. 'Mum are you sure you did not find me, as a baby, in the middle of the road while driving on the countryside?'

But I agree the Batman animated cartoon series rocks!! That and the Tick are my favourites.

The only cartoon in print that I have ever read or been interested on was Tank Girl.. it has it's own style of drawing and laying out the cartoon story.

Cheers, A.

Re:Batman is the best superhero AND comic. (1)

Citizen G (584288) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755949)

Your right he is the most human, but with issues... did he ever get therapy after the death of his parents, its a fact that most children who witness the death of a loved one as dear as a parent, become a bit fearless in regards to death. But dam, hes what a billionare, i would hire people to take out criminals and try to enjoy life and raise a family to honor my parents, it would be more healthy, but one boring ass charcter. i wonder what the character will do when he's old.... hire a bunch to go and take out criminals, he's rich enoungh to hire an army, that she satisfy his thurst for revenge & bloody justice

Re:Batman is the best superhero AND comic. (3, Insightful)

MilenCent (219397) | more than 9 years ago | (#12756039)

Bruce Wayne is a normal guy that everybody can relate to. He has no special powers to rely on; only the technology that his wealth affords him.

Riddle on this a bit: Not to intentionally drag issues of class struggle into the whole thing, but it *is* a fact that Bruce Wayne's extreme maxi-mega-wealth is almost as unreachable, to the average Joe-crimefighter-wannabe, as actual super powers are. He didn't earn it; he was born into riches. Extremely deep pockets is about the closest thing to an actual super power, more than great martial arts ability, more than inventing skill, more than being a supertaster, that exists in this world.

Further: what's the difference between a young Bruce Wayne growing up to become: a crime fighter, the world's greatest detective, and an ultimately good guy, and a young Bruce Wayne growing up to become: yet another idle playboy with way too much money (with all the society-warping power that provides), maybe not explictly bad, but not over concerned with other people?

Often it takes something seriously bad to happen to a person to break him out of his limited perspective and into a large view of the world. Which isn't to say that it is right that those things happen, nor that it always works that way. But often it's unavoidable, and often it does.

They need more chicks (1)

jurt1235 (834677) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755614)

Hum, combined with the article about the Japanese nerds, were in the cafes the waitresses dress up to meet the expectations of the customers, this gives me the following idea:
Let them hire those waitresses to get the balance back a bit.

Female Writers? (2, Interesting)

CleverNickedName (644160) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755643)

"It has been a very much male-centred universe," co-convener Saige Walton said.

Now that she mentions it, I can't think of any female comic writers. Please, could someone recomend a few?

Re:Female Writers? (4, Interesting)

kahei (466208) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755818)


Rumiko Takahashi.

But in the US and Europe, there appear to be no good female comic writers.

I think this is because if a man wants to be a cartoonist, he learns to draw and design and lay out panels, while if a woman wants to be a cartoonist she networks with her art college freinds and produces a strip in which stick figures talk about Iraq and Men.

I must note that the above theory is based on a single visit to Forbidden Planet and there may be some cases it doesn't address :)

Re:Female Writers? (1)

degotas (647239) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755825)

Personally I really like Chynna Clugston-Major's work. However she is most definitely not a super hero comics writer. More information here [onipress.com] It's like an archie comics with extremely perverted punk kids set in the 80's.

Re:Female Writers? (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755869)

There's Rumiko Takahashi, who did things like Ranma and Inuyasha. All of them intended for a male audience.

CLAMP is a team of all female manga artists, who seem to make stuff mostly for girls, like Cardcaptor Sakura, but also have some things like Chobits that are for an adult male audience (it's quite perverted stuff, but not pornographic)

I recommend all of those. The Rumiko Takahashi's creations I know are great if you just want to have fun. Chobits is nice if you're looking for something more oriented to adults, contains some interesting thoughts on relationships between people and machines, and a romantic story that actually goes somewhere. Rumiko Takahashi includes some romance in the stories, but it progresses painfully slowly, although it's good anyway.

Awesome, I have got my tickets (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12755687)

COMMANDER TACO: stop looking in my window and jacking off

JACKING OFF

JACKING OFF

Slashdot requires you to wait 2 minutes between each successful posting of a comment to allow everyone a fair chance at posting a comment.

It's been 5 minutes since you last successfully posted a comment

OH MY GOD WHAT THE FUCK

Another Church Scandle... (2, Funny)

Toby The Economist (811138) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755771)

Holy Men In Tights?

--
Toby

Obligatory Buffy the Vampire Slayer mention (1)

krajo (824554) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755793)

done. Now for my well deserved break. ZZZZzzzzz... Seriously though, Joss Whedon is the god of superhero women. (Hmm, ok, maybe not seriously, but you get my point).

With my current haircut... (1)

Biomechanical (829805) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755812)

I could go as Bruce Willis's character from Unbreakable. Thanks to the latest Bizzaro World IT developments I could even do the moody, "what the fuck is wrong with my life" attitude.

Holy men...in tights... (0, Redundant)

ndogg (158021) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755850)

N/T.

Thanks slashdot. Did I mention that I'm a former Catholic? Yeah, trust me, the kind of imagery created by this title for me are not good. That was the last thing I wanted to think about.

Just imagine the Spanish Inquisition in tights. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, would expect that.

Bulletproof Monk (1)

SunPin (596554) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755879)

Original, enjoyable, better than The Crow.

relax, this is just how fanboy academics score (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12755946)

I've organised a paypal account (geeksex@unimelb.edu.au) for donations to help hire some local working girls (many of whom will turn around and hand that money right back to the university in the form of student fees) to dress up in spandex and give the comic-buying geek academics something to live for in the small hours after the speeches are done.

So far, I've worked out the costumes for Libido Girl, The Thigh Mistress, Ms Pneumatic and (my favourite) Gyneodia.

For the (small but significant) gay academic contigent, there may possibly be an appearance by 'Krotch,' the rubber-wearing unambiguously gay superhero who punches you if you ever utter the name 'Batman' within his hearing.

What a day. (2, Funny)

phozz bare (720522) | more than 9 years ago | (#12755975)

The science of superheroes. The science of Star Wars. News for nerds, as promised ;)

-phozz

Super Heroes (1)

Stargoat (658863) | more than 9 years ago | (#12756024)

I find that talking about super heroes without talking about their origins kind of invalidates the conversation. How much do these comics owe to myths and legends, earlier stories like The Three Musketeers and Gulliver's Travels, or even Thomas Cochrane, Horatio Nelson and the various stories modeled after their lives? Can a valid conversation take place about super heroes without reference to these earlier incarnations?
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