This week, on the Major Spoilers Podcast, a listener calls in to pose a question to the Major Spoilers Crew:

Are comic book characters this generations modern myths in the way that Hercules, Zeus and the rest were to the olden age?  Comic book characters do appear to fill out the role, but is it true or just a bunch of junk?

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About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. That’s a tough one, kids have very little in the way of heroes now days and myths need heroes first and foremost: profesionnal athletes do either drugs/cheat on their spouse/have male genitalia when they shouldn’t or beat their girlfriends or worse, heck female athletes are viewed as ugly when they are too muscular even if they’re world class competitors and should be models of success.

    Parents are flawed and usually once you reach your teens they stop been your ideal of what a man or woman should be.

    Actors/musicians/hotel heiresses are succesful and popular but harddly hero material, well maybe Bono :)

    I think comic books and movies are our modern myths, simply because that’s the only place where we can see “real” heroes and while they may not explain why lightning falls from the sky or why grandma had to die, comic books do tell us what being a hero/villain means, what is right and wrong and have the occasional fable like moral message at the end. Their is however a huge difference between the myths of old, while we do venerate their heroes like Gods, comic books are in no way believed to be true.

    I say “real” heroes because actual heroes like firemen who burn themselves rescuing kids and pilots who land planes literally on a wing and a prayer don’t make the news for more then a week.

  2. This was one of the major points to M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable. It was the idea that myths and legends to ancient civilizations (or even modern myths like Paul Bunyan) have influenced the modern comic book character, to the point where the comic characters have essentially replaced (in a sense) the myths of yesteryear. Shyamalan took it one step further, claiming that, like some older myths, there are actual real-life counterparts to their characterizations, but I’m not sure if I would take it that far.

  3. I haven’t listened to the podcast yet, so I hope I’m not repeating something redundant … but I have two teenaged daughters and my cousin has two pre-teen sons, and none of the four knows anything about comic book superheroes beyond the basic movie-related ones (Superman, Batman, X-men …). Mind you, my cousin and I were avid collectors in our youth but have been unable (unintentionally) to “transfer” our passion to the new generation. This even though all of our kids are avid readers! This ties into the many discussions on Major Spoilers regarding the “target audience” of today’s comic books and how the big two have been unable to connect with kids beyond what they have done in the movies. It’s weird and hard to understand. However, it also explains why all of a sudden Marvel and DC (and Disney et al) have woken up to the fact that they own inmensely valuable properties being wasted when they are recognizable around the world (just like Coke or McDonald’s; think of much $$ has been spent by those companies spreading their branding around the world and how “Superman” is already there). I find it interesting to see how these assets have been “wasted” (IMHO) and how the companies are trying to address that.

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