The Essence of a Superhero, and the Genuine Thing: “Super Heroes”

“Super Heroes”

Sometimes hyphenated or capitalized, the word crackles with sensationalism.  Naturally, the joint trademark is held by the two largest publishers of superhero comics, Marvel and DC.  Neither publisher invented the word, and there seems to be no consensus about its inventor.  Credit is sometimes given to G. Stanley Hall (1844-1924), adolescent psychologist and first president of the American Psychological Association.  But the inaccessibility of the original meaning is only more reason to look to the irony of the word itself: a hero is already distinguished from “ordinary human beings,” and yet presumably a superhero is to be distinguished from “ordinary heroes!”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s