I really enjoyed how Jess Nevins defined a superhero in his book. He basically stated that there is no concrete definition of a superhero, but instead one should apply fuzzy logic when defining a superhero. That means people should “…consider superheroes on a continuum…” From Narcisse’s article there is no continuum provided, so I decided to create my own in response to my personal definition of a superhero.
My Superhero Continuum:
|Superhero||Almost a Superhero||Hero Wannabe||Mortal||Maybe Next Time|
|Speed||Faster than a speeding bullet?||Equally matched to a speeding bullet?||Slower than a speeding bullet?||Can barely even work a gun?||What is a gun?|
|Helpfulness||Will save even a kitten from a tree?||Will attempt to save the kitten, but needs a ladder?||Will glance in the kitten’s direction?||Will blantly walk by the crying kitten?||Gets stuck up in the tree with the kitten?|
|Jumping||Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound?||Able to leap tall buildings with a running start?||Only able to leap small buildings?||Can barely leap a chain link fence?||Can’t even walk a mile without tripping over one’s feet – let alone jumping?|
|Strength||More powerful than a locomotive?||Equally matched to a locomotive (in terms of power)?||As powerful as an eighteen wheeler?||Struggles to move the living room couch?||Can’t even lift a gallon of milk?|
Further applying Jess’s fuzzy logic theory – the more positive elements a character has on my made up continuum, the more of a superhero he or she is!
As for applying Kurt Vonnegut’s Shapes of Stories Theory, I decided to watch the first ever Superman cartoon. I wanted to watch the first episode of Batman, but I wasn’t sure which was legit when I was searching for it. Thus, I settled for Superman. A little side note before I apply Vonnegut’s Theory – I freaking love Kurt. He is one of my favorite authors. Look at the Birdie is one of my all time favorite books. Okay back to the task at hand. I would have to say that this particular episode adhered to his first proposition. The one where the storyline begins slightly above average, someone then gets into trouble, and then they get out of it again. For this specific episode, Lois Lane is just trying to capture a great story for the paper, she then gets kidnapped by the mad scientist, and voilà Superman comes and rescues her.