Guest commentary: Who Stole Superman’s Undies?

Superman New 52

Guest post by T Campbell.

Can the soul of Western civilization be found in a pair of red briefs? Was our first great superhero at his strongest, his noblest, his superest, before modern interpretations stripped him of his underwear? Is there a connection?

A generation ago, when those red briefs were an inseparable part of Superman’s design, he was the most familiar superhero by a wide margin, leading the field in film adaptations,[1] headlining cartoon shows,[2] and even winning over famous media critics who were fiction writers in their own right. Even now, if you believe superheroes have anything to say to American culture or the human experience, you sort of have to start with him, because he’s the prototype.

Umberto Eco called him “the representative of all his similars” [3] and Harlan Ellison described him as one of “only five fictional creations known to every man, woman, and child on the planet.”[4] Born in the early hours of a visual, easily reproduced medium, he was popular enough to codify most of what being a superhero meant. The Oxford English Dictionary even mentions him by name in its definition of “superhero”:

John Ferguson on Saltire: “He’s Big, He’s Blue, and He’s Ginger” [Interview]

Saltire Front Cover

Scotland has been missing some good superheroes recently, and especially giant hulking shirtless ginger ones. Luckily that’s all changed thanks to Saltire, a new character created by writer John Ferguson, who’ll be the star of a series of graphic novels over the next few years. A proud Scot, Saltire is a centuries-spanning hero who starts […]

Burka Avenger — Pakistan’s First Animated Female Superhero

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The best superhero stories are all about inspiring people, and the first trailer for Burka Avenger, the first-ever animated series produced in Pakistan, certainly does that. Created by Haroon – one of the bigger pop stars in the country – the series will be about a burkha-wearing superhero called Jiya.

REVIEW: Changing the Dynamic with ‘Halcyon and Tenderfoot’

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I was sent the first issue of this miniseries from Art Heroes a few months ago, where it seemed like a fun, all-ages series about a superhero duo. But then the story suddenly went off in a radically unexpected direction, and proved itself to be a thorough and startling deconstruction of superhero comics as a […]

Law and the Multiverse: an interview from the courthouse

Ever since their autumnal launch of Law and the Multiverse, James Daily and Ryan Davidson, two stalwart attorneys licensed to practice law in Missouri and Indiana respectively, have used not a brush or nib but the digital pen to question what many fates are in store for superheroes should the law of our land ever […]