Humour can be the carrier of messages that are otherwise hard to convey.
August 29, 2011 9:51 AM   Subscribe

Superherodom after 40. A series of paintings by Andreas Englund. Coral cache here.
posted by blue_beetle (57 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Age is the real Punisher.
posted by chavenet at 10:12 AM on August 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


Why is he peeing?!?
posted by bq at 10:14 AM on August 29, 2011


I like the paintings and the idea, but...is 40 really the beginning of the twilight years?
posted by DU at 10:15 AM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah that guy looks like he's in his sixties or seventies.
posted by nanojath at 10:17 AM on August 29, 2011 [14 favorites]


is 40 really the beginning of the twilight years?

Sure feels that way. (Also, that is one sweet ride he's got)
posted by jonmc at 10:18 AM on August 29, 2011


WAAAAAAY after 40.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 10:22 AM on August 29, 2011


nice, reminds me of the issue of Astro City focused on Steeljack, an aging super villian who just wants out.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:23 AM on August 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


"Andreas Englund was born in 1974 ...".

The clock is ticking, my friend.

Nice paintings, though.
posted by maudlin at 10:24 AM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is this supposed to be a specific superhero? I like it.
posted by xedrik at 10:25 AM on August 29, 2011


Love it. Can someone explain what's happening in the restaurant scene with the chef?
posted by Jubey at 10:25 AM on August 29, 2011


Nthing that over 40 is the wrong term here. The artist is in his mid-30s; he ought to know better. Having said that, this is a great concept and I'd love to see more with different kinds of heroes.
posted by immlass at 10:27 AM on August 29, 2011


40 is the new 80!
posted by mazola at 10:30 AM on August 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


Yeah, he's pretty clearly in his late 50s.
posted by griphus at 10:30 AM on August 29, 2011


reminds me of the issue of Astro City focused on Steeljack

Supersonic is who I thought of. Steeljack is in his late fourties, twenty, maybe thrity years younger than this geezer.
posted by bonehead at 10:32 AM on August 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


Can someone explain what's happening in the restaurant scene with the chef?

It looks like he's choking or something... ? I could be wrong.
posted by kingbenny at 10:35 AM on August 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's funny because he's old!
posted by crunchland at 10:36 AM on August 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


Is this really what 40-something looks like to 20-something?
posted by Jode at 10:38 AM on August 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


is 40 really the beginning of the twilight years?

I never trust anyone younger than 40. Or older than 40. I guess what I'm saying is, who are you, and how did you get this number?!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:40 AM on August 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


The artist is in his mid-30s; he ought to know better.

There's no evidence that the artist himself is using the "older than 40" language -- that seems to be an interpolation from the referring blogger.
posted by endless_forms at 10:46 AM on August 29, 2011


Is this really what 40-something looks like to 20-something?

The artist is 37, but yes, yes it is.
posted by griphus at 10:46 AM on August 29, 2011


The artist never says anything about "after 40" or anything. Read the article more carefully, that's the editorial saying that. The author's site just has the pictures with titles.
posted by neustile at 10:49 AM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why is he peeing?!?

You've never been on a road trip with an 80-year old, have you?
posted by bonehead at 10:51 AM on August 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


Women are at their best in their 40s.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:08 AM on August 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


Is this really what 40-something looks like to 20-something?

I remember being around 20-22 and finding out that one of my college classmates was a returning student. He was 30. I demanded ID as proof, because he wasn't walking with a cane or anything.
posted by DU at 11:12 AM on August 29, 2011


Conceptual derail: It's really weird that with a such hyperreal painting style he still uses tube black and white (does he think its relates it back to the comic style?) and woks out on perspective occasionally (the missile openings on the car, wristless meat hands in the third) one even though he appears to project his underdrawing.

Also, a lot of superheros are already over 40. Their characters, even.
posted by cmoj at 11:15 AM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why is he peeing?!?

Because he can. Who among us has not dreamed of peeing out into the air while flying over a city? Also, enlarged prostrate = reduced bladder capacity.
posted by exogenous at 11:18 AM on August 29, 2011


Didn't The Incredibles pretty much nail this idea?
posted by chococat at 11:27 AM on August 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


The emptykingdom links are blocked for me for some reason; here's a link to Englund's site. [Some of the rest of his portfolio is NSFW.] And, yes, it does seem to be inspired a bit by Astro City, although more scatological/questionable humor. (Who is he strangling in that one picture?)

More in the same vein.

posted by Halloween Jack at 11:27 AM on August 29, 2011


Didn't The Incredibles pretty much nail this idea?

There's also this comic book called Watchmen...
posted by KokuRyu at 11:41 AM on August 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


The painting is called "heimlich" - he's choking.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:41 AM on August 29, 2011


Sorta reminds me of that PSA where Wonder Woman is dying from AIDS.
posted by hermitosis at 11:42 AM on August 29, 2011


I really like this one.
posted by Mister_A at 11:49 AM on August 29, 2011


Anyway, this is territory that is well trod by Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy.

[Kidding! I think these are great]
posted by Mister_A at 11:51 AM on August 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy! I think the best part of those two may be the fact that they are actually voiced by old men.
posted by DU at 11:56 AM on August 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Right there with you DU!
posted by Mister_A at 11:57 AM on August 29, 2011


EVIL! Eeeeeeeee-VIL!
posted by stinkycheese at 12:03 PM on August 29, 2011


DU, I can do you one better--when I was eighteen, one of the people in my dorm was 22--he'd enrolled in college at 18, dropped out, and started again in our school after working for a few years--and I and most of the rest of our floor looked up to him as having all this life experience. The joke was that he was probably one of the least mature people that I met in my four years of undergrad.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:05 PM on August 29, 2011


If he's the original owner of that Dodge Charger, then I would place his age at late 50s.
posted by cazoo at 12:07 PM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I posit that our superhero is actually Leslie Nielsen, who faked his own death and moved to Colorado.
posted by not_on_display at 12:08 PM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


...or Lloyd Bridges.
posted by not_on_display at 12:08 PM on August 29, 2011


I like the paintings and the idea, but...is 40 really the beginning of the twilight years?

As someone born in 1971 can I just say...

Wait, what were we talking about?
posted by quin at 12:10 PM on August 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


A friend of mine is my age and only dates women in their 20s (yeah, he's that kind of guy). I should send him this with a "this is how you look to them".
posted by maxwelton at 12:14 PM on August 29, 2011


It's funny because he's old!

Yeah. I think this totally sucks. It's like he did a series of paintings that were "What if there were black superheroes? What would that be like?" and then showed a black person in spandex doing stereotypical black things.

1. There's already tons of depictions of elderly superheroes. And they aren't like that.

2. There's tons of old people who aren't like that.

Without some narrative that tells us why this particular old person is acting this way (that many or most older people would not), it comes across as a slam against old people in general.
posted by straight at 12:25 PM on August 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


I am surprised because the artist is nearly 40, but these people look like an 18 year old's idea of someone older than 40.

Or, what everybody else said.
posted by everichon at 12:44 PM on August 29, 2011


I love that he's flying over Chicago. One of the buildings he's flying over is 333 Wacker Drive. It's often voted a favorite by Chicagoans.
posted by Hop123 at 1:06 PM on August 29, 2011


The Punisher in the recent MAX imprint run by Garth Ennis was aged around 60 (the BOLO on the front of v.6 #44 stated DoB as Feb 16 1950). He didn't look like someone to be fucked with at all.
posted by longbaugh at 1:07 PM on August 29, 2011


You old people doth protest too much.
posted by xmutex at 1:26 PM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


These make a different kind of sense in Englund's gallery (linked above by Halloween Jack). There are images of this hero at a couple of different ages.

There's also this great action shot of the older hero that makes him seem pretty kick ass.

Also, yeesh, a half dozen people have already pointed out that the "over 40" thing was an editorial comment by the website that linked these images and not the artist's intent. The doesn't say "over 40" anywhere.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:56 PM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think the most damning thing here isn't his complete failure to grasp that 40 year-olds don't look like that (hell, isn't Brad Pitt over 40 now? Wouldn't a superhero be at least as fit as, say, a hollywood star?) is the simple fact that the Punisher has no powers, and can't fly?

Do some background on your subject. Jeez.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:15 PM on August 29, 2011


Batman Year 100.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 2:25 PM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Damn! I'm 44 and I don't look like that! Why is the artist such an A-HOLE?! And what about that Louie C.K. guy and all his disgusting +40 jokes!??! Middle age is awesome! I wouldn't trade it for 25! (well maybe)
posted by pashdown at 3:26 PM on August 29, 2011


There's already tons of depictions of elderly superheroes. And they aren't like that.

The first Flash is the man.
But yeah, I first thought of Supersonic. And now that I'm thinking of Steeljack...
There's a neat scene where a bunch of thugs are beating some guy for his wallet. Steeljack shows up, crushes one of their guns and says "Scram, punks."
And of course, they scram.
Being an old superhuman means you're not only hard to kill but you've survived superhumans trying to kill you.

A very old guy like this with a death's head on his chest, superpowers and what looks like a serious high-spec arsenal still running around beating thugs, killing piles of criminals, yeah, he'd scare the shit out of people.

Kinda funny he's got a parking ticket on his windshield, what with the minigun and rocket pods.
There is a sort of loss of dignity older folks seem to go through. I've spoken with a number of older vets and man they love to whip it out and measure it ('you're not so big, when I was your age...' etc.) but you forget, yeah, at your age that guy was winning a silver star or DSM, or learning jujitsu overseas when no one in the U.S. had even heard of it.
I remember doing this myself. Just thinking about nothing while some old guy I'm visiting rambles on and on and catching the end of it "...so Sinatra passed out in the hall and that's when Sam Giancana realized we'd glued all the doors shut in his hotel room."
Wait, what?
"Yeah, we short sheeted his bed too, the prick."
This was when...?
"When we were staking out the Tropicana... When I was in the FBI - I told ya. Somethin' in your ears kid?"

Old folks are seriously cool.

And it is sort of true that this is what it winds up to. Superhero one day, guns blazing, facing true evil, saving the city, people worshiping you - to dropping your groceries in a parking lot and some asshat who's never been more than 25 miles from where he grew up and thinks getting drunk and staying up to 2 am is a wild time gives you a parking ticket.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:17 PM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


What a wonderful post for me to savor over my last few days of being 39! Thanks!

srsly these are kind of fun, especially in the context on his portfolio, where you can see the various ages, not just "40".
posted by ook at 4:47 PM on August 29, 2011


Old. It's a weird word to begin with. I'm old. I'm 46. And I know I'm old because I was also once 26. I think I was 16 but I don't remember that at all. Not readily at least.

Being 46 compared to say 38 is a world of difference. At 38, I was able to get away with still being young. People constantly said I looked 27. I thought I'd be young forever.

Then I turned 40.

It changes then. Everything changes. Not only did I know that 40 wasn't young, I began to think differently. 40 in my head at least has a physical age halfpoint remarkability to it. I had reached genuine physical human middle age.

And it felt different. For one, at age 35 I joined the Army. I ran 2 miles in 11:09, a quarter mile of it backwards. At Age 36, I backpacked alone across the US from Oakland to Key West. It took three months. At age, 38 I took up bouldering and climbed 75-feet "freeballing" (no rope). At age 39, I held my breath and swam underwater for 4:19.

I did all of that just because I could. Then I turned 40.

At first it didn't seem so different. The very day I turned 40 I ran a mental accounting of my life to date and gratefully realized I was in the black. Very much in someways, though money was not one of them. However, life experiences, investments, and professional skill sets I was.

After having INCREDIBLE FUN for all those years—and having an adolescence which lasted about 28 years—I didn't want that any longer. The reason why was simple. If everything I did before I was 40 added up to being "in the black" for life skills and experience points when I wake up on my brithday 50 I want to look back at the past 10 years and say "thank you" to me at 40 who got it.

So I'm 46. And while I am in good health (thankfully, gratefully) I have regular checks for all the stuff that we as men have to ie prostate skin cancer teeth. My full head of hair is now thinning and greying. Neck wrinkles. Nearly solid grey beard. Thinner finger nails. Sore back. Knees.

Don't get me wrong. People are amazed at my health and body shape for how busy I am professionally and how little real exercise I get. I don't eat any meat besides seafood (hey, I live in Key West) and I eat plenty of locally-grown foods on a daily basis. But I'm more along the lines of that country song, "I'm not as good as I once was/but I'm as good once as I ever was".

Turning 40 for me was like being a superhero who becomes slowly mortal starting at around age 33. It's kind of like being the Winter Warlock from Santa Claus is Coming To Town. "When my heart melted I lost all my powers. Alas, all I have left is this magic corn which makes reindeer fly." So yeah I can still pull really important rabbits from my hat. And it makes a lot more sense to be able to use what powers I do have for good instead of just calling a thunderstorm down because I could. But hey! I used to be able to call thunderstorms.

In other words, turning 40 takes some getting used to. I'm glad I sowed all those wild seeds when I did because now that they're gone I might have been really disappointed if I hadn't.

Hmmm? Oh alright, yes, it has been a trade-off. I'm more effective than I ever was. I can get things accomplished that my younger self never would have been able to wrap his mind around. People call me. I have as many emails asking for my help as imagined I would one day. And it gets better everyday. Once I was baaaaad...and an ass. Now I'm a badass.

So I'm old. My roar is there but like I said it's probably a one-shot deal. Consequently, like Teddy Roosevelt, I speak softly and carry one hell of a big stick.

My plan? Well, it's the future. One thing I learned along the way is that one can never prepare to be surprised. Either I keep getting old and die at some point, or else we discover a couple of those breakthroughs that are unexpected and somewhat unimaginable. In the best of all worlds, I'll get to be young again. We'll see. In the mean time, I'm 46, I'm old, and I am not one retired metahuman to mess with. Plus, I got a whole posse of young superfriends ranging from age 3 to 38. If anyone younger than I needs to throwdown I feel like I have every member of the whole Justice League, the X-Men, X-Factor, Teen Titans, and Power Pack all on speed dial. So bring it.

And if somehow that's not good enough well then I just guess that I really am your huckleberry.
posted by Mike Mongo at 9:48 PM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Women are at their best in their 40s.
posted by KokuRyu

KokuRyu, you are now my favorite MeFite.
posted by _paegan_ at 3:26 AM on August 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's also this great action shot of the older hero that makes him seem pretty kick ass.

I'm a big fan of the one where he's catching his breath after massacring two dozen dudes. It's like, "I've still got it."

Though for actual kick-ass older heroes, may I suggest Brit and The Destroyer? (Both by Robert Kirkman.)
posted by Amanojaku at 11:16 AM on August 30, 2011


gah, first line is a quote, so should be ital.

There's also this great action shot of the older hero that makes him seem pretty kick ass.
posted by Amanojaku at 11:17 AM on August 30, 2011


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