Grotesque Anatomy
Thursday, April 08, 2004
  But Who The Heck Will Ever Remember The Term 'Metonymy'?
Marc Singer weighs in with an excellent essay about how the best superhero comics generally derive meaning:  It's not by having a super-powered character stand in for another thing; it's by having such a character become an exemplary case of the thing being commented on.  I highly recommend reading this piece.  It's good grounding for the never-ending "Are superhero comics capable of telling worthwhile stories?" debate that perennially pops up in the comics blogosphere.  (I particularly like Marc's example of Thanos:  "Why (to jump back to my Thanos rant) would you try to make a supervillain a metaphor for the death-drive implicit in autocratic conquerers when you could just have him try to fuck Death? On one level, of course, a character named 'Thanos' might seem to be just about the most metaphoric one in comics, but on another level he works precisely because the fantastic elements of the genre allow him to embody that death-drive in a horrifically literal manner.")

After reading Marc's essay, I'm especially glad that I didn't slip up and incorrectly refer to Kate's powers as "metaphorical" in my review of Demo #5.
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Iron Fist

by John Jakala

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