An announcement: I've been invited to speak at this year's Cornerstone Festival (in Bushnell, Illinois, from July 1-3)!
"But I thought that was a Christian music festival, and as far as I know you're not a musician!", you say? Well, you're correct. But part of the festival is the Imaginarium, which houses seminars on a variety of topics. This year's title is "Make. Believe. Heroes"—in other words, the religious aspects of superheroes. I'll be giving three one-hour sessions on the morality and ontology of superhero universes under the title "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility." The full summary:
Despite the deconstructed superness of Watchmen et al., the original point of superheroes wasn't to make us wish we had superpowers -- though that certainly would be fun! -- but rather to make us wish for the clear moral discernment that allows superheroes to do the right thing. The creators of the most influential superheroes -- immigrants or children of immigrants like Siegel and Schuster or Jack Kirby -- used their creations to imagine a better world where the powerless had a stronger voice. This seminar explores superheroes as champions of the downtrodden, and notions of superhero morality.
Other sessions in the Imaginarium will cover Watchmen, moral grey zones in postmodern superheroics, and saints as superheroes. Check out the full schedule here, and perhaps I'll see you there!
In tangentially-related news, at Comics Should Be Good, Brian Cronin shares his favorite Mid-90s Badass Jesus Comic (to wit: Glory/Avengelyne II: The Godyssey #1).