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    • CommentTimeMar 4th 2008
    Michael Chabon (author of, among other things, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay) has an essay in the current issue of The New Yorker about superhero costumes. It's called "Secret Skin."

    Here is a central paradox of superhero attire: from panther black to lantern green, from the faintly Hapsburg pomp of the fifties-era Legion of Super-Heroes costumes to the “Mad Max” space grunge of Lobo, from sexy fish-net to vibranium—for all the mad recombinant play of color, style, and materials that the superhero costume makes with its limited number of standard components, it ultimately takes its deepest meaning and serves its primary function in the depiction of the naked human form, unfettered, perfect, and free. The superheroic wardrobe resembles a wildly permutated alphabet of ideograms conceived only to express the eloquent power of silence.

    I'm a Chabon partisan, but I think it's fantastic.

    What does everyone else think?
  1.  (1267.2)
    I think Michael Chabon has his head very firmly planted up his own ass.

    "ideograms" and "permutated alphabet"? Come on.

    Morrison, Ellis, Moore and Miller have had more substative things to say about the superhero in the medium than this effete flummery. Feels like that "Oh I read superheroes, but for the metatextual reasons, don't you?" kind of high-brow that just seems silly to me. I'd rather hear from the creators any day.

    Sorry, I have something of a distaste for Chabon in essayist mode.
    • CommentTimeMar 4th 2008
    the term 'effete flummery' is reflexive.