All men are equal, where one excels in mental ability, another may excel in physical strength and power. My Last few posts have explained the heroes from my question, the ‘traditional hero’ and the ‘marvel misfit’. I have looked closely at the two and also influences surrounding them.
I think that the genre see the traditional superhero as a bit futuristic. His physic is unrealistic and an extreme image of masculinity. The comic strips are full of heroic victories, he never loses a battle and gets the woman every time. This is a step to far for the genre they know that they will never be this hero and cannot compare themselves to him. He has a strong influence of bodybuilding which the genre picks up on and desire to look like.
The traditional hero’s personal life is not as complex as the ‘marvel misfit’. Superman is not worried with people seeing his face, he has no fears of people recognising him. This shows his confidence in his second identity, these shows his natural instincts to be the hero. He enjoys who he is and enjoys having a dual identity. The genre admires this as they see a strong willed man as a leader. His hansom appeal is an attraction for the women, I have found that the female genre is more interested in the physic. The stamina is a security and a dream partner, a fantasy, and a vision of masculinity. This appeal is not as affective with the ‘Marvel Misfit’. They are a lot more suttle and relaxed towards the whole hero phenomenon. They don’t throw themselves into society and into the limelight. They are not entirely comfortable with their situation but have to adapt and get on with their complicated lives. They do not enjoy the media in their faces. Spiderman’s mask is a clear example of his desperation to keep his identity hidden.
The genre can relate to the marvel hero. Spiderman is a perfect inspiration to thousands of teenagers. They look at the stories of hurt and rejection and can see themselves as Peter parker. His self-punishment and depression can relate too many that have experienced hurt and lose in their lives. The loss of Spiderman’s Aunt and Uncle has had a big influence on the characters emotional state. He has a sense of reality about him that the genre feel comfortable with. They pity him as they have experienced or understand how he feels. Stan Lee once quoted “It was up to Jack Kirby and me to bring them to life, to make them seem like real people to the readers: even more than that – to make the fans care for them”1.3.
This is in my point of view what a hero should be like. The marvel hero is more brute force. They act without thinking, doing what they think is right but the people see them as villains or misfits no matter what they do. I also looked at the hulk to show the extreme personalities used by marvel and their idea of a hero. The hulk is seen as a monster but also helps when he can. He is a huge problem for the military but I think he was given this role in the stories to gain pity and remorse from the genre. They see him as the sorry character that can’t help what he is. The person reading the comic knows both sides of the person and can relate to both of the feeling.
Knowledge of how and why comic heroes do what they do best, which is to impress the genre. The genre keeps them on the selves and the growing demand on their evolution and development is crucial. They need the buyers to stay in business. DC Comics seen to concentrate on stamina, masculinity and physic where as Marvel have a strong power to use the hero’s personality to capture the fans.
– Post Written By Sarah-Leigh Wills 2014 – Taken from my Dissertation: ‘Is the ‘Marvel Misfit’ a better role model than the traditional superhero?’ Written February 2007.
1.3 Quote by Stan Lee, sourced from Fantastic Four, the ultimate guide. By Tom Defalco. Published by Dorling Kindersley LTD 2005. page7, paragraph 7.