It’s been a while since a podcast episode was released, and that’s because life’s been insane at TGON! With conventions starting to re-open and more releases happening, things have been ramping up, and unfortunately, the podcast has been the thing that’s been on the back burner. Thanks to our editor, Nick Jack Wright, we’ve got many episodes completed and ready for release. So without further ado, let’s send off 2021 with a discussion about Superheros.
I sat down to chat with the author of Tower of Blue, Eric Locsh, about what a superhero is. I honestly thought this episode would be quite a straightforward chat about our favorite and most hated superheroes, but it got super deep. We may have more questions than actual answers at the end of this. Before we dive in, we talk about what’s been taking our money and attention. Eric has been watching the HBO series Barry which now has a couple of seasons. This episode was recorded before Halloween, so at the Parola House, we were deep in a Hotel Transylvania phase. This brought me to my first question to segway into our chat about Superheroes, are monsters considered superheroes?
Eric immediately takes it further and asks the golden question we will keep going back to the entire episode, WHAT IS A SUPERHERO? It could be someone with powers or someone who does good. Maybe, it’s someone who has overcome something difficult. The definition lies in the eye of the beholder. We quickly discussed how the term superhero came to be. Robin Hood, Zorro, and Popeye (1929) are considered the first real superheroes we know of. We wouldn’t get Batman and Superman until 1939, shortly after Captain America in 1940. The reality is that the definition has changed over time, and it’s not as black and white as it used to be.
Eric opens up the discussion to villains with, “Well aren’t villains just heroes of their own story.” A great example is the latest Joker movie with Joaquin Phoenix and how he’s done some horrible things at the movie’s end. He has this massive following of people who think he is a hero. Of course, my mind immediately goes to the current state of social media and how we as a society flock to influencers in the same way when their content goes viral.
We then jump into a discussion of how we got into superheroes and what they mean to us. We also chat about how nerd culture has changed. Eric talks about how he’s enjoyed this new view on superheroes who know they should be doing good but choose to do evil. Series like The Boys, Invincible, and Jupiter’s Legacy have done a great job exploring these themes. This then gets us talking about WTF superheroes like Polka Dot Man from Suicide Squad, the Legion of Pets, and the entire army of Gorilla Grodds. I go on a tangent about my love-hate relationship with the CW DC televisions series.
This is when Eric turns the tables and asks me what I’m most excited about when it comes to superheroes. In all honesty, I’m excited about all the possibilities. We’ve seen what has happened when other cultures and skin tones are shown on the screen with heroes like Black Panther and Shang-Chi. I remember how excited I was to find out that Wonder Woman was finally getting her own movie and when Star Wars revealed that Ray was a Jedi. I was that girl whom her brothers constantly told that girls couldn’t be Jedis. I do, though, want someone to explain why Squirrel girl gets some much hate?
I return the favor by asking Eric what he is most excited about, which jumps us into a discussion about DC Comics. He’s cautiously optimistic about the new Robert Pattinson’s Batman. Since DC has refused to keep the same characters and has jumped around so many times, Eric thinks they need to find some way to tie them all together. This leads him to think something like a Multi-Earth verse could soon be in the works. All of the calculated MCU connections over the past decade have made DC look like it’s flying by the seat of its pants. Both companies have the money to make things work, and well, it all comes down to planning and execution. Synder’s Cut of Justice League is a perfect example, and I love how we compare it to a trip to Vegas.
So, where Superheroes will go from here? What is their future in culture? We all know nothing lasts forever, and the “Superhero Fatigue” is about to set in soon. Will it soon be uncool to like superheroes? Highly doubt it. Marvel has been wise to make the MCU big enough you don’t have to watch everything to understand. You honestly can pick and choose what you want to watch. If they are smart, they will branch out to new characters to bring new faces to the big and small screen.
Learn More About Our Guest:
Eric Locsh – www.ericlocsh.com
Young Adult Sci-Fi Author of Tower of Blue and Possum Stew
Like him on Facebook
Part 1 of his new superhero series The Night Howler is out now!