Here’s my confession: superheroes are just not my thing.
I don’t think so, anyway.
The fact of the matter is, however many graphic novels I’ve read, and however many shojo (and yaoi) manga I’ve devoured, traditional comics have never held my attention. Not even long enough for me to truly give them a chance. And that’s *particularly* true when it comes to comics revolving around superheroes.
But I want to like them. I do! Or… I want to at least give them a chance. So much so that I’ve enrolled in the new edX course The Rise of Superheroes and Their Impact on Pop Culture. My hope is that by exploring the superhero’s place in our overall culture and history, something will click within me. I’ll have an a-ha moment. I’ll finally understand why everyone cares.
And objectively, I get it. I remember an episode of the American Queer as Folk where Michael teaches a class on the superhero, and he emphasizes how reading about superheroes gave him a sense of power that he, at the time, didn’t feel like he had. It gave him an allegiance, a brotherhood.
At the same time, watching and reading the introductory course material, they consistently equate superheroes to mythological figures. And here comes my first a-ha moment: mythology was also a subject that I desperately wanted to be interested in, that objectively I saw value to, but that I could not fully seem to appreciate or even pay attention to.
Will this class help me in my hopes of becoming interested? Maybe. At the very least, I hope that it will provide some insight into why I have trouble caring in the first place.
P.s. Go check out edX – now! They have a ton of high quality online classes that you can audit for free! And no, I am not paid by them to say that.