Download Superheroes!: Capes and Crusaders in Comics and Films PDF

TitleSuperheroes!: Capes and Crusaders in Comics and Films
Author
TagsDc Comics Avenger Comics Marvel Comics Adult Comics
LanguageEnglish
File Size6.1 MB
Total Pages289
Table of Contents
                            Contents
Acknowledgements
1. The Freedom of Power: Some First Thoughts on Superhero Comics
2. The Heroism of Jessica Jones: Brian Bendis' Alias as Thick Text
3. Watching the Watchmen: Sharing a World with Superheroes
4. Dark Knights, Team-Mates and Mutants: Sustaining the Superhero Narrative
5. Some Kind of Epic Grandeur: Events and Reboots in the Superhero Universe
6. Gifted and Dangerous: Joss Whedon's Superhero Obsession
7. Superherovision: From Comic to Blockbuster
Index
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 2

Superheroes!

Superheroes01 pre.indd 1 20/11/2007 12:11:33

Page 144

Watching the Watchmen • 133

‘You couldn’t have planned it. What if he’d shot you first?’ and
Veidt replies ‘I’d have had to catch the bullet’, looking sardonic
when Dreiberg is incredulous. And later, when Laurie shoots him,
he does catch her bullet in mid-air; ‘catching the bullet’ is of course
notoriously one of the most difficult and deadly tricks in the stage
conjurer’s repertoire. Veidt is a magician, and a trickster, and is
therefore also linked to comics’ major trickster villain, the Joker.

One might have supposed that the closest figure in Watchmen to
the Joker would be the Comedian, but he is not that sort of trickster.
It is certainly true that the Comedian comes closest to wisdom
in his many grim jokes. He is an unpleasant murderous thug, but
when, after killing the Vietnamese woman who scars his face for
leaving her pregnant, he points out to the disapproving Manhattan
that Manhattan could have stopped him, the bitter jest he makes of
it is true. When he tells the nascent Crimebusters group that their
efforts are pointless, and sets fire to their chart of social problems,
he is expressing the same sense of the pointlessness of what they do
that comes to haunt both Veidt and Manhattan.

One of the reasons Veidt beats the Comedian personally and
hurls him from a window is an earlier beating given him by the
older man; another is that he shares with Veidt and Manhattan,
whom Veidt also tries to kill, a certain capacity for wisdom. He
is, to that extent, the double, the dark self that Veidt needs to kill,
not least because the Comedian is honest about the vein of sadistic
violence that Veidt is in denial about. The Comedian is a joker and a
truth-teller through his bleak dark jokes.

Veidt is, however, almost entirely humourless, except for that
sardonic silent look. He is like Manhattan in this; he does not
share the other characters’ taste for traditional superhero banter.
Violence is a serious matter to him, not something to be celebrated:
when Rohrschach and Dreiberg attack him, he in seconds reduces
them to men bleeding and on their knees before him. All he says
is ‘Manners’, rebuking them for attacking him at dinner; there is
humour of a sort in that, but it is of a very dry kind. Earlier, when
he kills the assassin he has himself commissioned, he is utterly
silent, utterly effective, as he was when killing the Comedian.

Superheroes04 ch03.indd 133 14/11/2007 10:40:08

Page 145

134 • Superheroes!

When, knowing that his plot has succeeded and he has brought
peace to the world, Veidt gloats, and where most villains would at
least crack a gag at this point, he speaks in utter seriousness quoting
Rameses’ inscriptions: ‘Canaan is devastated, Ashkelon is fallen,
Gezer is ruined . . . All the Countries are united and pacified.’ He
is utterly serious minded, and for once the cliché ‘deadly serious’
actually applies.

Apart from his strength, athleticism and intelligence, he has
the particular self-taught gift of coming to intelligent conclusions
about the nature and future of society by viewing many television
screens at once. He is – and this is another area where Moore is
both attracted and repelled by his creation – a perfect creature
of the age of McLuhan and intertextuality and Baudrillard and
Debord. The opening of the eleventh issue of Watchmen is worth
quoting at considerable length because it helps describe Moore’s
own working methods as much as it does Veidt’s, who is speaking
here:

Multi screen viewing is seemingly anticipated by Burroughs’
cut-up technique. He suggested re-arranging words and images
to evade rational analysis, allowing subliminal hints of the future
to leak through. An impending world of exotica, glimpsed only
peripherally. Perceptually the simultaneous input engages me like
the kinetic equivalent of an abstract or impressionist painting.
Phosphor-dot swirls juxtapose meanings, coalesce from semiotic
chaos before reverting to incoherence. Transient and elusive, these
must be grasped quickly.

What Veidt does have in common with the majority of the book’s
superheroes is his isolation; he murders his core group of silent
East Asian minions and kills his cat. Manhattan and Rorschach’s
isolation is something on which we have already commented.
Hollis lives alone, as does the ageing Sally Jupiter, whose marriage
collapsed and who had her child through an affair with a man who
earlier tried to rape her, the Comedian. He in turn deserts and
murders a Vietnamese woman whom he got pregnant, and lives
alone. The only one of the original Watchmen who appears to have

Superheroes04 ch03.indd 134 14/11/2007 10:40:08

Page 288

Index • 277

Strip-mining 27, 32, 47, 66, 74,
171, 247

Submariner m 44, 105, 155
Subtext 12–14, 111, 164, 229,

245, 255–6
Summers, Alex (see Havoc, X-

Men) m
Summers, Gabriel m 31, 44
Summers, Rachel (see Rachel

Grey, Phoenix, X-Men) m
Summers, Scott (see also Cyclops,

X-Men) m 31, 32, 35, 44,
167–75, 213, 222–3, 259–62

Superboy (see also Clark Kent,
Conner Kent) dc 179, 191,
193, 197, 199

Superman (see also Clark Kent,
JLA) dc passim 3–20, 48–51,
104–6, 148–52, 177–80

Superman f 231–3
Superman 2 f 231–3
Superman Returns f 19, 231, 233,

235, 261
Swamp Thing dc 39, 58, 120, 214

Team-ups 30
Texture (see also referentiality)

26, 91, 136, 230
Thanos m 16, 41
Thick text 24–6, 62, 63–4, 135,

138, 203
Thor (see also Avengers) m 26, 28,

41, 42, 72, 89, 94, 102, 154,
158, 189

Thunderbolts m 10, 37, 115, 116,
154, 156, 157, 182, 187, 188,
190, 208

Todd, Jason (see also Robin) dc
13, 33, 106, 112, 145, 152

Tom Strong 60
Top Ten 61, 142
Transmetropolitan dc 58
Two-Face (see also Harvey Dent)

dc 143, 145, 237, 245

Ultimate continuity m 13, 13n,
23, 33, 65, 66, 67, 72, 75,
167, 252, 253, 261

Unbreakable f 266
Up, Up and Away dc 112, 156
Urich, Ben m 85, 187

Vampires 34, 207, 208, 219, 220
Van Dyne, Janet (see Wasp,

Avengers) m 154, 157, 160,
164

Veidt, Adrian (see also
Ozymandias) dc 121–137

Venom m 116, 182, 247, 256
Verheiden, Mark w 116
Vertigo 36, 55, 58, 59, 166

Waid, Mark w 11, 21, 108, 155
Walken, Christopher a 241, 244
War Games dc 16, 47, 181
Wasp (see Janet Van Dyne,

Avengers) m
Watchmen dc 6, 18, 21, 24, 55,

60, 103, 119–38, 142, 143,
266

Waters, Daniel w 241–3
Wayne, Bruce (see also Batman)

dc 9, 10, 16, 45, 108, 112,
114, 122, 145, 146, 150, 236,
238, 241, 242, 245, 248, 249,
250, 251

Wertham, Frederick 1, 2, 18,
101, 105

Superheroes09 index.indd 277 14/11/2007 10:46:13

Page 289

278 • Superheroes!

Whedon, Joss w 7, 17, 49, 62,
166, 168, 201–25, 262

Wolfman, Marv w 192–4, 216
Wolverine (see also X-Men,

Avengers) m 66, 106, 116,
154, 189, 202, 223, 225, 257,
258, 259

Wonder Woman (see also JLA)
dc 8, 18, 105, 107, 108, 149,
192, 193, 196, 201, 202, 204

X-Factor 67, 184, 187
X-Men (see also Excalibur, X-

Factor, eXiles, groups whose
members wander in and out
of the main X-Men, also New
X-Men, confusingly titled Grant
Morrison’s run on the main title)
m 7, 13–14, 15, 23, 31, 34,
35, 42, 44, 49, 66, 75, 81,

102, 106, 115, 119, 165–75,
182, 184, 187, 201, 202, 204,
208, 210, 211–25, 227–9

X-Men f 256–60
X2 f 227, 229, 256–60
X3: The Last Stand f 7, 14, 23,

224, 261, 262
Xavier, Charles (see also X-Men)

m 13, 31, 32, 44, 45, 168–70,
172, 183, 186, 211, 221–5,
258–61

Yellowjacket (see also Hank Pym,
Avengers) m 154–65

Young Avengers m 32, 33, 45, 70,
84, 87, 164, 189, 202

Zemo, Baron m 11, 116, 119,
189

Zero Hour dc e 34, 194–5

Superheroes09 index.indd 278 14/11/2007 10:46:13

Similer Documents