Superheroes step in where the authorities aren’t doing their jobs, but what are those authorities? How do characters represent them, or interact with them?
THE HORRORS OF THE VASTNESS IN ALL PLACES! Clay and Talen, winding down October Spooktacular, talk about the horror in vastness; as a pair of former religious fundamentalists, they have their own grappling to do with the pulp horror that underpins comic book superheroes, and why Necron, Unicron and Galactus aren’t… quite… the same thing.
Where there are monsters, there are monster hunters, those who look into the abyss and stand on the precipice and patrol the border and whatever liminal metaphor you want. We talk about doing them well and the ways to identify the archetype, and also, talk about Blade.
IT CAME FROM BEYOND OUR UNDERSTANDINGS! Clay and Talen discuss a term they’ve used in the past, the _Science Monster_, a type of character that represents fears and anxieties about science, and how you can use these characters as lenses to look back on older stories, times and places, and see what really mattered to people. Also, Sandman and some bonus radioactive crocodiles.
Talen finally vents his spleen about how mad he is about all those characters who want to insist that they don’t need to be superheroes to be superheroes. Don’t worry, there’s plenty where that came from. We talk about unpowered humans and how they frame superhero stories.
Wally is probably wrong, and that’s why today we’re discussing the Superheroic tropes of magic and science, and the way those two intersect and oppose one another, or rather, don’t. What do they do for a story? How can you use them well? We tell professionals how to do their jobs, and we’re right.
Let’s talk about power levels! Not the challenge of measuring them, but about how different types of power, different levels of power, change your stories and change the way your stories work out!
Sometimes we talk about topics that make us mad, sometimes we talk about topics we love. This time, we’re talking about something we love: Our love of found-family superhero structures. Batman is mentioned, from time to time.
In this episode we talk about the Mutant as a metaphor, specifically how it’s sometimes used to represent some idaes that don’t work, and how you can break away from things at those failure points. Vampires eat people.
Expanding on our thesis from last time, we discuss the idea that a superhero needs something of a secret identity, some duality of self, that allows them to connect to the universe that we already live in. We talk about Moon Knight!