Saturday, May 06, 2006

Marvel Comics made me who I am

Dan Brown - Web Exclusive: I was interested in this column first because it is an interesting description of reading practices in the 20th century. Dan Brown, online editor for The London Free Press writes:
"Probably the most important appreciation I developed is my lifelong love affair with the printed word. I began collecting titles such as The Uncanny X-Men because I was captivated by the dynamic images on each page. ...But, perhaps almost by accident, I soaked up the words that accompanied the pictures. As important as the drawings were, reading Marvel Comics really was an exercise in reading. The company had a distinctive lingo all its own, and each issue was packed with terms such as 'stasis' and 'matrix' and 'mutant.' If my vocabulary is larger than that of the average person, you can blame Marvel."
What I am realizing, quite belatedly, is that Marvel and DC Comics are worth investigating in terms of their images of human-machine interaction. Brown notes that "One of the coolest characters Marvel offered readers in the Me Decade was Deathlok, the cyborg assassin. As cool as he was, however, Deathlok still did not want to be a superhero. After dispatching one victim in Astonishing Tales No. 25, we learn that the dying man actually feels sorry for Deathlok: 'Your voice . . . you’re not human . . . you’re a robot . . . an android . . . a cyborg . . . with no feelings . . . no remorse . . . just an inhuman machine . . . I pity you.' "

Here's Deathlok:

There's a whole book in examining these figures. Only problem is, you'd need a good source of funding! This comic is currently available for $45 US.

There's also Cyborg from Teen Titans:

...and many more. Spiderman would be by some definitions a cyborg as well.


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