Short and light today--I know many of you have told me you enjoy reading the blog during your lunch hour at work--so I wish that I had more to give today.
I received X-Men E A Filosofia in the mail recently--the Portuguese translation of my X-Men and Philosophy book. X-Men and Philosophy came out in the States in March of 2009. It was the end result of a two-year project, a dream project from my perspective. I spent four years trying to convince the Series Editor to take on the project. With the Wolverine movie on tap for spring 2009, we signed a contract in 2007. I knew the book had an audience...because there are a lot of comic book geeks like me out there. The most recent comic book related book in the Philosophy and PopCulture Series is Iron Man and Philosophy, edited by a colleague of mine, Mark White. Now, as much as I LOVE comics, Mark's love is even greater...and so is his knowledge of comic book storylines. Mark contributed to my X-Men book--an amazing chapter on the Dark Phoenix Saga (in case you're not as comic-geeky as me or Mark, that's a Jean Grey thread in the X-Verse...). When Mark told me about his Iron Man book, what he didn't know was that I had proposed the same idea, just days after he had. So I was more than happy to be asked to be a contributor, particularly concerning female characters like Black Widow.
For literal decades, my son and I have bonded over comic books--and our favorites have always been X-Men, Iron Man and Thor--pretty much in that order. If you've been paying attention, you know that Joss Whedon (cue the heavenly harps...) will be directing The Avengers flick, which will be released in 2012--and Thor will be one of the featured superheroes. Thor will also be living the 21st century superhero dream by starring in his own film next year (gotta love context...go, Malcolm Gladwell, go!). The Norse god of gods will be played by Aussie Chris Hemsworth. The cinematic genius of Kenneth Branaugh will drive the direction of the 2011 Marvel Entertainment blockbuster. The movie is currently filming and scheduled for release on May 6, 2011. Hollyhood heavy-hitters like Sir Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman, Rene Rousseau, and Idris Elba are all playing pivotal roles in bringing Valhalla to the silverscreen. You know why Thor rocks my superhero socks??? Because he's handicapped. That's right, handicapped...you heard me.
The character of Thor evolves through the decades but we'll see Thor's human alter-ego as a wheel-chair bound medical student who begins to remember that..."Oh yeah, I'm a Norse god!" As a disabled person who spent a few years in a wheelchair myself, like the famous Professor X of X-Men, it's cool to see that disability doesn't hold guys like Thor back. ;) And that's also sort of the disappointing part.
Real disabled individuals aren't really dis-abled; we are super-abled. It's easy to put one foot in front of the other when you have healthy body parts--now try doing that with one paralyzed leg and brain damage that throws off your balance. Exactly...now you're starting to get it. When you see people in wheelchairs, it's an amazing, superheroic feat for them to go in and out of restaurants, get in and out of a car, and just do "simple" errands. That's why in some ways, I kinda wish Thor stayed in his wheelchair and still weilded Mjollnir (his hammer...) like the superhero he is. Wheels don't slow us down, and none of us "disabled" peoples can magically turn into a Norse god whenever we need to defeat the evil before us. And yet, we still get the job done...though you don't see many of us working at jobs (ADA...what's that???).
At any rate, I wouldn't be surprised to see a Thor and Philosophy hit shelves in 2011, too. It could be in the planning stages as we speak. And personally, I hope that if anyone is heading up that project, it's my superheroic comic-book-geek colleague, Mark White. If you plan on hitting theatres for Iron Man 2, you really should check out Iron Man & Philosophy--and read my chapter (coauthored with my comic partner-in-crime, of course...) to go into that movie and get FULL enjoyment from your $10 movie ticket!
All of the Marvel superhero storylines are interconnected. If you are LOVING the superheroic escapism entertainment raging on silverscreens for the last decade, pick up some comic books and take a read. You can get comics in your local grocery store these days...no need to find a Newbury Comics or a local comic-dive in your area. And if you like the comics, you can even get a subscription, like you do for your favorite magazines. Isn't that cool??? Aren't comic books the greatest??? :)
Hey, even if you don't think so, even if you've never looked at a comic book, try something new for this new week and find yourself a juicy comic to snuggle up with. You may learn more than you expect....
Until next time, dear readers....