Erika Catarine

  • Erika Catarine commented on the page, on the site Superhero 1 year, 2 months ago

    The Ti-Girls only group is a pretty cool superhero pack. One of the characters that want to be a superhero reminds me of the mother from the shadow hero because she has this idea for her son to be a superhero. The main character in Marvels also becomes a superhero in her own way. The idea of being a superhero, saving lives, fighting crime being…[Read more]

  • Erika Catarine commented on the page, on the site Superhero 1 year, 3 months ago

    I think that the Shadow Hero is a very enjoyable book outside of the DC or Marvel umbrella. According to Monica Chui “surprisingly, the unusual origin story resonates exceedingly well with themes typifying recognizable superhero figures.” In my opinion I think as long as it resonates what being a superhero is in its own creative sen…[Read more]

  • Erika Catarine commented on the page, on the site Superhero 1 year, 3 months ago

    I believe Ms. Marvel and Miss America were created to emphasize on diversity and empowerment. I think for that reason that these comics exist. According to Laura Portwood-Stacer and Susan Berridge “Such works recognize the significance of female comic book characters in an industry which has traditionally been dominated by men in terms of c…[Read more]

  • Erika Catarine commented on the page, on the site Superhero 1 year, 3 months ago

    I think Coogan statement “that the superhero mission is prosocial and selfless” in regards to Superman’s last task in helping kyrptonians and humans transition after his death does fit into his statement because in the conclusion it explains “Superman is a super man who represents the best achievements of humanity”. In this way both Kyrptonia…[Read more]

  • In the “Function of the Superhero at the Present Time” by Sean Carney he states that “superheroes…are allegories for the human ability to create forms that are larger than humanity itself and that humans then ne […]

    • Sean Carney states “their social function as Marvels is quite simply to challenge that which humans take as given, self-evident, and familiar to consciousness. Throughout the narrative the marvels constantly function to interfere with American national consciousness through the intrusion of that which is larger than consciousness. This manifest itself as the loss of innocence” pg 108
      What does he mean by “loss of innocence”?

      Phil addresses this near the story’s opening when he reflects, “Before they [Marvels] came, we were so big, so grand. We were Americans – young, strong, vital!” Almost as early as they are introduced, the Marvels serve to bring humility to a people who had earlier seen themselves as almost invincible (much like the American psyche). Phil goes on to consider: “We weren’t the players anymore. We were spectators.” In this panel, the citizens attempt to view a Marvel, but they are only able to see his shadow and a portion of his cape; similarly, their awareness of, and ability to control, world events is elusive. They “were waiting for something.. without knowing what it was..”, but via the allegory, as argued by Carney (“the storm represented by the Marvels is the storm of world history”), they will soon lose the luxury of their ignorance/innocence.

    • “Throughout the narrative the marvels constantly function to interfere with American national consciousness through the intrusion of that which is larger than consciousness. This manifests itself as the loss of innocence, the American fall from grace in the 1970s when Vietnam forced America to confront its own national failure fully”(Carney 8).

      Your question mirrors mine.

      What is the loss of innocence?

      I’m not sure, although I can see the death of Gwen Stacey as ONE of, not THE, major turning points in the loss of innocence of Phil Sheldon (and comic book readers as well). Spider Man made the front page and Phil curses “And Stacy’s daughter gets buried in paragraph ten. PARAGRAPH TEN!”. Cue Sheldon a few pages over when Marcia compliments a picture of the Hulk by Sheldon to which he responds, “Telephoto. I wasn’t that close”. He is distancing himself from the marvels because he has failed to understand their purpose fully. Carney wisely puts it, “As Marvels, their function is not to be understood” (9). I think Sheldon realizes this and therefore points Marcia in a new/different direction taking a picture with the normal paper boy Daniel Ketch (who would later become Ghost Rider MK II). Although I’m curious as to what Sheldon would wonder if he had read Alan Moore’s take on our new interaction with history and how we can emancipate ourselves with a productive team up of past and present.

    • “Do you think it’s in this way that the people of America feel that the world is moving too fast for them to comprehend? If so why? Or why not.”

      This question made me think back to the Bukatman article where he describes Superman as a response to the Industrial Revolution, specifically mechanized warfare of WWI. Because mankind has invented machines that are faster, stronger, tougher, et. al. than he is, Superman stands as a fantasy in which that reality is negated. He serves as a triumph of humanity over machines.
      “Marvels” occupies a similar mindset. Whereas the Golden Age of heroes in the 1940s were reacting to industrialization, it seems that the Silver Age heroes are stand-ins for atomic power and its implicit, possibly inevitable catastrophe. Where the Human Torch and Submariner reflect elemental forces bound to human control (the Torch could symbolize fossil fuels, Namor the Hoover Dam) and thus human frailty and foolishness, the heroes of “Marvels” are just that. Giant Man walks among high-rises, the Fantastic Four fight a god atop a skyscraper (the modern day tower of Babel), Spider-Man swings through the alleyways between these buildings. Similarly to “Watchmen,” Busiek and Ross convey the innate dread that super-powered beings should instill in an average human. Their responses, from Jonah JAmeson’s fear-mongering re: Spider-Man to the Galactus hoax through the outright terror of the “mutant phenomenon” remind us that Man is a fragile animal constantly at war with the unknown. And one always fears what one doesn’t understand. Because the average citizen cannot process fully the existence of super powered beings superior to him/herself to any point of acceptance, then the world cannot truly make any real sense. Therefore, one cannot really find order in it and so the average person suffers…

    • What instances in “Marvels” can you point out in which humanity is struggling with the concept of acceptance and why?
      “Marvels” exist so that the humans difference is fully visible. They are known as superior beings who protect the world from other forces of evil. However, humans cannot accept this idea and even challenge it by weaving stories about them. For instance, “Marvels” is a name that is given to them by the humans. Humans are merely witnesses to the events. They do not know about them, nor can they distinguish who the bad guy or good guy is.
      There is a scene where Phil Sheldon puts his wedding off because he feels that he cannot protect his family because of the chaos that is happening with the superheroes, fighting with each other. Later, he gets back together with Doris after seeing the movie where the Sub-Mariner and the Torch are battling the “Nazi-rap war machine” together. He is relieved that these superheroes have united rather than become enemies. So, he is confident that the world will be protected.

    • I think that when Carney talks about “loss of innocence”, he’s talking about the world changing events of conflicts like World War II. During this time period in Marvels, the world was in total chaos, even if Phil was hoping that there would be a return to normalcy. Then this world throws an even stranger curveball in the form of Captain America and the country begins to fixate on him. They start to deify Captain America and allow him to utterly change the mental landscape of the US. Now a legitimate superstar had emerged from such a bloody conflict. It can also be said that while the world might have made some sense to Americans then, it would have definitely be put through a whirl during the Vietnam war, when they have to confront the fact that war is not so black and white in terms of the moral standing of the characters.

    • Erika, thank you for your analysis!
      I think Marvels is so brilliantly done. It focuses on the humans and the rest of the Marvel heroes are just swooping in and out of the frames. The reader gets the same view as the humans in the comic themselves.
      The narrator, a cameraman, symbolically loses his eye as an effect of a Marvel battle–his injury is not treated as a disaster. No one really dwells on it. It’s the same as any human occurrence that happens as the Marvels are fighting. At the end he blatantly states, “you’ve got to have the eye for it, and mine is gone…I’ve lost it…I’ve seen too much.”
      Throughout the comic book, the narrator tries to grapple with his humanity and his inability to cope with the heroes. Two scenes that do this occur after some sort of tragedy. The second comes after Goblin and Spiderman fight. During the fight the narrator states, “I knew he would save her. That was what he did.” When the girl dies, the narrator, realizing that these characters are not perfect, reflects, “he failed her. they all failed her.” This also leads to a loss of innocence, as he understands what his fellow humans don’t: that a human life lost matters. He says, “to her, like the rest of the world, Gwen was just a girl. Too bad she died, but it’s not like she was anyone important.” He understands and comprehends that heroes are not perfect and that humans can end up hurt since they are “not worth it.”

    • What instances in “Marvels” can you point out in which humanity is struggling with the concept of acceptance and why?

      At various points in the text there is graffiti that reads “Mutants must die” etc., in addition to rioting. Humanity is struggling with the concept of acceptance within Marvels, I think because people are always looking for someone else to blame not, necessarily because they struggle with acceptance. If something goes wrong it’s the “mutants” fault; when they show up late people wonder “what’s taking them so long?” Phil even puts off his wedding because he feels inadequate which he credits to the super beings. The super beings remind people that they are less than, inferior, I suppose they have trouble accepting that feeling. Phil mentions while writing his book that people were infatuated by the wedding of the fantastic four couple but people were quick to jump on the mutant hate train. Again, I don’t think the text is suggesting that humanity is struggling with the concept of acceptance of differences but instead humanity struggles with acceptance of responsibility.

    • 1- I think there are several instances in which humanity is clearly struggling with this concept. For me, one of the most prominent moments involves the Mutant X-men, because of how relatively minor a role they play in the overall graphic novel. The fact that the protagonist, Phil Sheldon, also gets sucked into the mob mentality reveals that someone as seemingly “progressive” as he is can be pulled into ways in which humanity struggles with accepting change. I think it’s also interesting in how the mutants find the source of their superhuman abilities from genetic mutation without any catalysts like Spider-man’s radioactive spider-bite or technological advances like Iron Man’s suit or simply being a god from Norse mythology. The fact that the X-Men are essentially human terrifies humanity even more, much like Sheldon. While capturing, as Carney elaborates, the “paranoia of the 1950s,” I think we can also read this as reactions to the civil rights movements of the following decades, as well as general mob-mentality that helped allow for tragedies like the Holocaust (Carney 106).
      2- I have to agree with Ken on his answer to this question. There is certainly a sense of humanity not only existing within a scale of global history that is constantly shifting and being re-written, but I also think that the way in which Sheldon “hands off” his role as reporter towards the end of the graphic novel perhaps also speaks to the way in which humanity may at once feel helpless, but then also recognize that there can be a “passing on” to the next generation. I don’t know if this alleviates the next generation’s own anxieties, but it may speak to a recognition in realizing that the world, history, etc. may be greater than a single individual, but a collectiveness may allow for a way to accept the role humanity has in their own historicizing and reification. Additionally, it may serve as a counter-balance to the mob-mentality we see throughout the graphic novel.
      3 – I think the loss of innocence is referring to America’s role in the Vietnam War and its aftermath. Carney writes of “the American fall from grace in the 1970s when Viet Nam forced America to confront its own national failure fully” (Carney 108). Within Marvels, this is personified (or allegorized) by the public’s criticism on heroes such as Spiderman. What’s interesting about this “loss of innocence” though is the way in which Busiek, which Carney points out, allows for a moment of dramatic irony, in which Phil is oblivious to the fact that Peter Parker IS Spiderman. The irony also allows for another way to rethink the possible loss-of-innocence-because-of-the-Vietnam-War allegory — if Spiderman, for Sheldon, represents a way in which to redeem Marvels (of whom Carney theorizes as a stand in for America’s role in Vietnam), then his ignorance of the duality in Peter Parker providing the very images that Jonah Jameson then uses to besmirch Spiderman, represents, perhaps, a darker side to American involvement in Vietnam. Peter Parker is making a profit despite criticism piled onto Spiderman — this can either be read as literal profits gained from war-mongering, or as the profit of establishing a particular image of American intervention and imperialism. The redemption story, and the loss of innocence, is again allegorized (by Busiek, since he is re-imagining, or reifying, the original Amazing Spiderman issues) by Gwen Stacy’s death, despite Spiderman’s best efforts.
      4- I think what Carney means is that marvels offer another way to perceive and interpret, and perhaps reify, history. He writes that marvels “are that which [Sheldon] is desperately angry to account for, explain, understand and redeem, but [that] which remains tantalizingly out of reach. As marvels, their function is not to be understood. The only real solution to Phil Sheldon’s problem is a shift in consciousness itself…a new way of interpreting history” (108). I think the intrusion he is referring to is the simultaneous intrusion of the realization that marvels are meant “to not be understood” and that they will always be something bigger than we can actively understand, because they represent an odd sort of futurity; our relationship with history is reifying it, re-imagining or re-writing it, but also in not knowing where that reification will then lead to.

    • Great article post, Erika! In response to your question about where we see humanity struggling to come to terms with acceptance in “Marvels,” I think the concept manifests itself in the conversation had between Phil Sheldon and J. Jonah Jameson in fourth issue. When questioned about the potential libel that the Daily Bugle prints about Spiderman and the other “Marvels,” Jameson retorts, “Phil, if he was a hero–if your ‘Marvels’ were truly the noble, selfless crusaders they claim–how could the rest of us measure up? How could we meet that standard?” This moment in the comic resonates quite well with the point that Carney makes in his essay on page 101, “the superhero has been reinscribed with a hopeful ambivalence which transforms it into a symptom of history. This is to say that the superhero now is a symptom of humanity becoming historical,, in a philosophical sense. Human beings are historical creatures because they have the ability to overreach themselves and be productive creators.”

      As a child, I grew up with the Sam Raimi “Spiderman” films, and I remember being so bewildered as to why Jameson was intent on depicting Spiderman as an egregious villain in his papers. I could see how “The Daily Bugle” served as the epitomized “foil” to DC’s Daily Planet; whereas the Planet extolled Superman for his heroic action, the Bugle intently criminalized Spiderman, and it never made sense to me. It wasn’t until this moment in the comic, that I truly realized the significance behind Jameson’s inferiority complex. In this moment, he acts a symbol for the anxiety that Carney alludes to.

      If the Bugle were to acknowledge the “Marvels” as heroes, the heroic efforts of man would be considered vastly minuscule by comparison.

  • Erika Catarine commented on the page, on the site Superhero 1 year, 4 months ago

    I agree with her assessment because Watchmen is the type of comic that traditional superheroes aren’t being presented as. In the Watchmen you have serval types of very different characters. The characters in the Watchmen all go through very different experiences that makes up who they are. The characters also question who they are, as well as w…[Read more]

  • Erika Catarine commented on the page, on the site Superhero 1 year, 4 months ago

    To answer your question “How can we as readers analyze Watchmen according to this statement?” In the reading by Hoberek he states that “In watchmen case by both a commitment to realistic ugliness and an open-endedness that permits the possibility of change. By expanding the potential of the superhero story as both a literary adjunct of reali…[Read more]

  • Erika Catarine commented on the page, on the site Superhero 1 year, 4 months ago

    My understanding on Klocks definition of “the revisionary superhero narrative and the concept of the genre involving a strong mis-reading” is that I don’t think it’s a strong misreading it’s just moves away from the norm that is comics books which are overpowered superheroes fighting for justice where you hardly see any conflict. The conflict…[Read more]

  • Erika Catarine commented on the page, on the site Superhero 1 year, 5 months ago

    I believe Jean Grey idealism behind her powers exemplify her being superhuman according to Fawaz “ “All creation is her domain to do as she pleases” pg 211 She is an ideal God like figure with her powers as she seem unstoppable. Fawaz continues “The narrator begins by equating her original manifestation of Phoenix with the universal “goodne…[Read more]

  • Erika Catarine commented on the page, on the site Superhero 1 year, 5 months ago

    I believe Marson was playing it bold at the time because in a world where men had more rights than women I believe he did this for the reason being that women should feel equal to men. Women should know that they too can also fight for their rights, or be able to speak their mind, or be able to work. I think having Wonder Woman empowers woman to…[Read more]

  • Erika Catarine commented on the page, on the site Superhero 1 year, 5 months ago

    You asked “why are people so obsessed with superheroes like Superman? What is his appeal?” I believe people are obsessed because he is a character that can relate to most people being that he is from a different planet that came to the U.S. People in their own way can relate to the character being that they came from different country. There is…[Read more]

  • Erika Catarine became a registered member 3 years, 5 months ago