Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Failure of the Day: Looking ‘Till You Find It

Those of you who visit certain other blogs may have noticed the steady and steadily increasing drumbeat of Chris whipping himself into a full-blown frenzy, which somehow he will sustain for another full month, and that will increase until I am genuinely worried about his blood pressure. (I am familiar with this process; I remember the month before Episode I. And Episode II. And, you know, Episode III.)

So, I like Superman just fine, OK? Even the version drawn by that one guy who makes his head is just WAY to small for his massive body and it sort of looks like his neck is blowing a little bubble. (A bubble of pure goodness, though!) I found a toehold into him thanks to Michael Chabon, and I’ve been gripping like a champ ever since. But I’ll admit that the Big Blue Boy Scout is not so much a natural fit for me.

I am even less comfortable with Neil Gaimen, although I’ve never read anything he’s written—I base my discomfort purely on his fans, nearly all of whom badly need haircuts and new shoes, because dude? Uggs are for girls. And you should never, never tuck your jeans into them. Dear god, is this your first time out of the group home?

Anyhoo, so imagine my surprise when I found this article, with this choice graph:

"What’s important, though, is how Superman uses these powers. Compared to most A-list comic characters, he has almost no memorable villains. Think of Batman, locked in eternal combat with nocturnal freaks like the Joker—or Spider-Man, battling megalomaniacal weirdos like Dr. Octopus. For Superman, there’s pretty much only bitter, bald Lex Luthor, forever being reinvented by writers and artists in an effort to make him a worthy foe. Superman’s true enemies are disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes, jet planes tumbling from the sky, enormous meteors that would crush cities. Superman stands between humanity and a capricious universe."

Ah, see now we’re talking. This is what I have always needed—A hero who fights nature. Fuck those morons with deathray guns and world domination plots; none of them have ever lost me a moment’s sleep. But stuff that just happens, acts of god, no-fault disasters, and c’mon now, disease? Fate, shitty luck, bad parents, lousy coordination? For this, I need a man in tights. Oh yeah. Tights. And preferably wrapped around Brandon Routh’s thighs, too.

For reals, though I’m on board. I wasn’t ever really resisting, but my last bit of “But I like books without pictures” snobbyness is smashed to smithereens. Nature is really big, and it can fuck you up; I know it as well as anyone. And I'll tell you what, I didn't do that great fighting it on my own, so I'll take all the help I can get. Superman, I'm yours.


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