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With great powers comes great responsibility

Undecided on election day? Sat through all the debates and still not sure who's right and who's wrong? What you're really looking for is an endorsment by people you can trust completely, you can look up to, true heroes? Well, J. Caleb Mozzocco has taken the trouble to interview a representative cross section of superheroes and is starting to see a pattern. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Nov 6, 2012 - 35 comments

 

"...the posterboy for Generation Halliburton."

"I asked [Bono] why, in his opinion, [Tony] Stark couldn’t be content with charitable work à la Bill Gates, shaping the world with his billions. "You have to understand these guys," was Bono's one-line reply. "Bill's software. Stark's all hardware." Vanity Fair profiles a year in the life of Tony Stark, and asks what the literal and figurative ascent of the inventor/playboy/superhero means for 21st Century geopolitics. Is Iron Man "the embodiment of an outdated American fantasy -- a self-made, unilateral, technological solution to hopelessly complex problems"? Or is he merely the improbable but logical outgrowth of one young man's vast wealth, careless hedonism, prodigious intellect, and strained familial and mentor relationships? Christine Everhart examines the political implications and personal motives of Stark's quest to beat swords into plowshares -- while profiting from the retrofits. [more inside]
posted by Asparagirl on Sep 12, 2008 - 19 comments

...even after five agonizing years of the Iraq War, a summer blockbuster isn't prepared to say that not only is its action hero is corrupt, he's corrupt because America has become corrupt.

Iron Man, who represents an imperial America, can only win Pyrrhic victories. Spencer Ackerman of Tapped Online has a nice history of the Iron Man comics that reads the character's alcoholism, Civil-War overzealousness, and persistent blundering "into a hell of unintended consequences" as a symbol and subtle critique of American exceptionalism and what Jonathan Schell among others has called "impotent omnipotence".
posted by gerryblog on May 16, 2008 - 123 comments

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