Srinagar, 2 June-2014, KD | CNS: The spokesperson of Islamic court Monday refuted the statement…
Mumbai:Want to know more about superheroes and their connect with our everyday world? Then the Smithsonian Institute’s six-week online course, The Rise of Superheroes and Their Impact On Pop Culture, is just for you.
After all, superheroes tend to be centred on real-life incidents. Take, for example, X-Men: First Class, which explains the rise and fall of the friendship between Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr (who eventually becomes Magneto) and highlights historical events like the Cuban Missile Crisis during the height of the Cold War.
The Smithsonian programme, mentored by Stan Lee, the brain behind iconic characters such as Spiderman, the X-Men, Captain America, Iron Man and the Hulk, traces the history and origins of the first superheroes and comic books, and how they changed over time. In addition, students also learn how globalisation and the diversity of next generation superheroes impacts storytelling.
Students learn that superheroes have been part of culture for almost as long as civilisation itself, says course professor Michael Uslan. “People need entertainment, moral guidance, and inspiration. These stories, whether they are about Moses, Beowulf, Odysseus or Hercules, fulfil that inherent need. By understanding our mythologies of the present and past, we gain insight into ourselves as set within the context of time and place globally,” he says in an email interview.
In fact, the Smithsonian can do a second course on the range of storytelling that emerges from every culture. “It is wonderful to see some of these come to light in new, more diverse superheroes,” Uslan adds.
The greatest example of a superhero arising due to a historical event was Captain America, in response to Hitler and the rise of Nazism. “Jerry Robinson’s Atoman was created as a direct reaction to the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945,” he says.