“Wham! Pow! Bang…Catharsis?” Understanding Superheroes as Modern Mythology
SUMMER CLASS 2021
Dates: June 28 - Aug. 25 (8 weeks) James Goode
Mtg. Days: M, T, W
Mtg. Time (Pacific Time): 11:00-11:50 AM
Credits: ½ (elective)
Class Description: We live in a decade where the comic book dominates the movie theater, the TV screen, and the imaginations of many children. Even if capes and tights aren’t “your thing,” superheroes are an important part of the modern world. Have you ever wondered why that is? Why are these types of stories so popular, and what should you—as a Christian—think of them?
This course will examine modern “superheroics” by comparing and contrasting with ancient mythology, both in its cultural and personal effects. We will look at the development of the idea of the superhero, starting with the Book of Judges, moving on through the Iliad and Greek and Roman myths, to the Wild West hero, to the comic book in the 1930s, and on to our own time of the superhero blockbuster. Along the way, we will particularly examine how various worldviews and philosophies have been disguised behind a cape and a mask, by focusing in on class discussion of various characters, stories, and motifs. Whether their original position on superheroes ranges from “love” to “hate”, students can expect to clarify and rightly order their thinking on this topic. The students will feed all this into an end-of-class paper on the Christian duty in regards to modern mythology.
Comic Book Nation by Bradford W. Wright
Mythology by Edith Hamilton