Monday, December 8, 2014

Martin Henry Dawson : against a city - and an age - of Super Heroes, the story of an un-superhero

1875 -1965 was an age of Scientism and of Super (hyper) Modernity --- an era of unlimited faith in the abilities of technocratic elites (a view at least held by other technocratic elites).

An epoch hearing many (un-democratic) proposals for elite corps of skygod-like air police to short sharply govern the real world of unruly adults down below.

Fiction writers matched the non-fiction intellectuals by creating imaginary super-heroes doing basically the same job as the proposed  Air Police , to populate the fantasy world of male teens and boys.

It has been largely and deliberately forgotten today* that these schemes for an elite air police force to govern all the world were openly proposed and critiqued by many seriously respected intellectuals such as HG Wells.

It was as if the Greek and Roman skygods of ancient thought were to be adapted to modern times.

Little wonder then that the same young men who read everything vaguely Sci-Fi that HG Wells ever wrote , eagerly took up this idea for their various (Gotham based) comic book super heroes.

It pleasures me muchly then to be able to push hard against this grain and focus in on a story , set in that same Gotham as in the heyday of the Golden Age Super Heroes, that features a crusading scientist who positively oozed un-charisma.

Someone as un-superheroic and as un-skygod like as can possibly be.

Who yet did great things ....


* PD Smith's The Doomsday Men is one sturdy exception .

There have been actually a fair number of other books and authors that have been successful in developing this theme : H Bruce Franklin's War Stars springs to mind.

Successful in the academic world that is , but not yet in the popular consciousness.

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