1
Jul 04

An in-depth, thoughtful, and ultimately wrong headed discussion on the lack of aging of characters in superhero comics

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 217 views

An in-depth, thoughtful, and ultimately wrong headed discussion on the lack of aging of characters in superhero comics. The article is based on the seeming paradox that Batman has been around for seventy odd years and yet has barely aged a jot.

Um. Its a character. Why does it have to age?

The rationale for this is that good old staple continuity yet again. A couple questions are thrown up by the ongoing serial adventures of these costumed caperers. Everything that happens to them must take a degree of time, and does not all occur at the same time. Therefore time must elapse in their lives, and the accumulated time should age them.

The same argument goes whenever the writers try and ground a story in the here and now. Spider-man swinging past a cinema showing a current film roots him in the now. But he was also going to college in the early sixties. Not to mention those heroes who were apparently active in World War II. How can we square this with them never aging.

The solution, not suggested by the writer David Yurkovitch, is who cares. Not avoidance of pop culture refences, not real time. Rather it is the nature of serial fiction for its heroes to be reinvented for the current age. And usually reinvented on the fly, if that is what serves the story. Hand wringing about how old exactly Batman is is not only futile but it is the act of a reader who misunderstands the nature of fiction. His superpower might be that he does not age, or more importantly that he is always contemporary.

Add your comment

(Register to guarantee your comments don't get marked as spam.)


Required

Required (Your email address will not be published)

Top of page