Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Jules Feiffer's Superheroes Week: An unusual metaphor applied to Superman and Captain Marvel

“The most savage reprisals in comic books were, just as in the revolutions, saved not for one’s enemies but for one’s own kind. If, for a moment, Superman may be described as the Lenin of super-heroes, Captain Marvel must be his Trotsky. Ideologically of the same bent, who could have predicted that within months the two would be at each other’s throats—or that, in time, Captain Marvel would present the only serious threat to the power of the man without whom he could not have existed?”

—Jules Feiffer, The Great Comic Book Heroes

5 comments:

butter said...

Does this make Batman Stalin?

Phillyradiogeek said...

Reading some of these excerpts reminds me how much I dislike when people overanalyze comic books and superheroes. Superman is Superman, and Cap is Cap. They're not stand-ins for anyone else. Sheesh!

Sea_of_Green said...

I agree with you, PhillyRadioGeek. Plus, Superman may have come first, but Captain Marvel's title outsold Superman throughout the 1940s. Also, zillions of super-heroes in the Golden Age were given Superman's powers because publishers thought that's what readers wanted (check out the history of the Green Mask for one particularly ludicrous example). But Captain Marvel endured because he was JUST DIFFERENT enough from Supes and the others to catch reader attention -- and affection.

SallyP said...

Oh I don't know, this seems a bit harsh. We all know that Billy really wouldn't hurt a fly.

Earlofthercs said...

Ive been accused of being a trotskyist and even with looking like a (larger, healthier) version of him before. If thats makes me like Cap, Im all for it.