Saturday, October 21, 2006

Class, Dismissed

More about the idea of class in mainstream superhero comics, this time from The Absorbascon, a blog that seems to have a thing for the 1980s Hispanic superhero Vibe:

But, somehow, somewhen, the world changed. NASCAR became a "sport"; poker became a spectator event on television; Las Vegas became acceptable; Target & Wal-Mart supplanted Saks & Bloomingdales. Men stopped wearing hats in the streets and started wearing them in restaurants. Women turned in their high heels for sneakers. Ties were replaced by bluetooths and gowns by jeans. People no longer aspire to higher class, but struggle to maintain a lower- class facade, no matter what their finances.

Back in the day, Carter Hall was an archeologically-oriented sophisticate; Ted Grant was a medical student, then a wealthy celebrity. Nowadays, Carter is some sort of barely restrained savage and Ted Grant is some beer-swilling Wolverine-lite, and a reader can only assume that criminals can literally smell either one of them from a block away.

The post tends to conflate the economic realities of class with the trappings of culture, style and attitude that we clothe ourselves in, and often equates education with class, but it sparks off an interesting line of thought and the comments section has some great discussion.

As well, The Legion Abstract has assembled a nice list of recent discussions on this topic here.

(above: College student The Atom contemplates the power of the proletariat, art by Jon Chester Kozlak, All Star Comics #33, 1947)

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