I’ve been sick all weekend (my moderate level of illness ballooned into its THIRD BOSS FORM compared the first and second forms that manifested during the week itself) so, for once, I didn’t work on anything over the weekend. I sneezed and coughed a lot, moaned a great deal, played video games, and watched a documentary on superheroes on Netflix called SUPERHEROES: A Never-Ending Battle by PBS Arts.
Much of the early comics history I already knew, but the last episode covers material made in recent history. History I lived through. September 11th, Obama’s election…it was really interesting to think about the movies and comics made in that time within a historical context. Marvel’s Civil War to me at the time was just yet another cross-over event. Looking at it now, it’s seen as a reflection of the fears surrounding the Patriot Act. In general, the documentary presented superheroes as not just an exploration of what we could be, but a response to the anxieties of the age. Superman, someone capable of almost anything, born out of the depths of the Great Depression. Captain America, who went to war with America’s troops, his very first issue depicting him as punching Hitler in the face. The atomic age, with superheroes like the Fantastic Four, Hulk, and Spider-man, created from the same science that leveled Hiroshima, and highlighting the realization that with great power comes great responsibility.
It makes me wonder how the work of the present will be seen within the context of history, and how might my own work be unconsciously influenced by current events? Did the people making those characters make conscious decisions to tackle specific issues, or were they merely reflecting what fears were lurking in their own minds?
What are the major problems and fears of our current age, and how is work being made now reflecting those concerns?