FROM THIS EPISODE
Kids and delayed adolescents aren’t the only Americans drawn to Superheroes in comic books and multiplex theaters. Serious scholars are studying the mythological archetypes that get contemporary audiences to spend so much money. Out of all the available archetypes, which ones are going out of style—and who’s most likely to make a comeback?
Students of cultural archetypes say that superheroes rise and fall in popularity according to the needs of their times. Batman’s been very big since September 11th—the angry avenger who’s willing to bend the rules in order to get things done. Is it time for a change? Options include the empowered underdog, like Spiderman. Or the Trickster represented by Iron Man. Is Superman just two squeaky clean for a comeback? What mythology will most appeal to American audiences in an era of economic uncertainty and political polarization?
Seth Stevenson, Writer (@stevensonseth)
Larry Tye, Author of “Superman: The High-Flying History of America’s Most Enduring Hero”
Geoff Boucher, staff writer for the Los Angeles Times
Christopher Vogler, Hollywood story consultant and author of “The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure For Writers”
In ancient Greece, women were barred from Olympic competition under penalty of death. In the Paris revival of 1900, they could only wear clothing that covered their legs.
In 2012, for the first time in the history of the modern Olympic Games, women will be competing in every sport contested by men.
But that doesn’t mean all the gender-based arguments have come to an end. Should women boxers wear skirts? Should beach-volleyball players wear shorts and t-shirts instead of bikinis?