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Author Topic: Working Class Heroes  (Read 13974 times)
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Gangbuster
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« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2005, 03:45:04 AM »

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« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2005, 03:45:56 AM »

Back to liberalism, social movements are always sparked by the elite on behalf (or perceived behalf) of the people. Zorro is an excellent example of this. Likewise with Green Arrow, who basically is Robin Hood.

There does appear to be a total lack of working class heroes in the Golden Age; the worst of the Depression hit before that, when Pulp heroes reigned supreme. However, it looks like the writers opted for people who had the power to change things for the working class. Superman became a reporter so that he could help, and become "the champion of the oppressed," for example.

This deficit appears to have been corrected in the Silver Age. Alan Scott was replaced by the Green Lantern Corps, and all the Green Lanterns from Hal Jordan forward have been working class. (Not sure what Guy Gardner does, but Hal was in the Air Force and Kyle Rainer was I think unemployed.) Perhaps sidekicks were used as a counterweight to fix this perceived problem. Jimmy Olsen was given a greater role in Superman comics, and Robin the Boy Wonder figured prominently into Silver-Age Batman comics.

While the comics industry had been based in New York and largely ignored the South, we began to see the emergence of black superheroes, and other Southern characters like Gambit, Rogue, and Swamp Thing.

Speaking of Swamp Thing, there are many, many magical characters in the DCU. Magic is something that the very lower classes believe in or practice, while the upper classes either dismiss it or campaign against it...and Swamp Thing is himself homeless. If you are looking for working-class characters, the magical sector will probably provide a gold mine, starting with The Spirit.
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« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2005, 12:23:07 PM »

Quote from: "Gangbuster Thorul"


This deficit appears to have been corrected in the Silver Age. Alan Scott was replaced by the Green Lantern Corps, and all the Green Lanterns from Hal Jordan forward have been working class. (Not sure what Guy Gardner does, but Hal was in the Air Force and Kyle Rainer was I think unemployed.) Perhaps sidekicks were used as a counterweight to fix this perceived problem. Jimmy Olsen was given a greater role in Superman comics, and Robin the Boy Wonder figured prominently into Silver-Age Batman comics.


Guy Gardner was first a college football player, then a lawyer, then he worked with physically challenged children until the time of his coma.  Afterwards, he was just a hero until he gained the Vuldarian powers and he became a bartender and owner of a succesful chain of bar and grills called Warrior's

As matter of fact, Guy has actually employed other heroes and some villians to act as waiters, waitressess, and bouncers for Warrior's.

Kyle Rayner was unemployed until he succesfully sold some of his artwork to a museum. He then got a job being a comic book artist until his assistant got beaten nearly to death.

John Stewart is an architect.

The pre-Crisis Supergirl went from reporter to student counclier to soap opera star.


Quote
Speaking of Swamp Thing, there are many, many magical characters in the DCU. Magic is something that the very lower classes believe in or practice, while the upper classes either dismiss it or campaign against it...and Swamp Thing is himself homeless. If you are looking for working-class characters, the magical sector will probably provide a gold mine, starting with The Spirit.

Mark Merlin a detective of the occult is another
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TELLE
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« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2005, 07:40:07 PM »

Quote from: "Gangbuster Thorul"

This deficit appears to have been corrected in the Silver Age. Alan Scott was replaced by the Green Lantern Corps, and all the Green Lanterns from Hal Jordan forward have been working class. (Not sure what Guy Gardner does, but Hal was in the Air Force and Kyle Rainer was I think unemployed.) Perhaps sidekicks were used as a counterweight to fix this perceived problem. Jimmy Olsen was given a greater role in Superman comics, and Robin the Boy Wonder figured prominently into Silver-Age Batman comics.

 Magic is something that the very lower classes believe in or practice, while the upper classes either dismiss it or campaign against it...and Swamp Thing is himself homeless. If you are looking for working-class characters, the magical sector will probably provide a gold mine, starting with The Spirit.


Again, my initial urge was to eliminate educated professionals (white-collar workers) and agents of the state (cops and soldiers), just to see how many blue-collar workers could be dug up.  I eliminated predessional athletes and entertainers as well, or else Deadman, Dick Grayson, and early Stuntman could be used --arguably circus trapeze artists are "blue-collar".

Lots of rich people believe in magic as well, but that doesn't mean that magic superheroes are working class or "ruling class" or anything else.  (Wait, the Spirit is magic???)

Jimmy Olsen, office boy and Jimmy Olsen, reporter are 2 different things and only reporter Jimmy gets superpowers, no?
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« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2005, 01:50:48 PM »

Maybe our heroes are more working-class than we thought.  Check out these cool photos from a fun site called, "Dial B for Blog"...

http://dialbforblog.com/archives/56/
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Gangbuster
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« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2005, 09:56:16 PM »

hehe...now that's more like it.

Well, here we go then, with more recent characters. I would consider cops, firefighters, etc. more working class heroes than government agents. But I digress.

Superboy. Maybe this is why people like Smallville better than they like other Superman shows... it shows the Kents, farming.

John Henry Irons- as we first saw him, a construction worker saved by Superman. Since then, the character has been really messed up a lot.

Spider-Man- Peter Parker, photographer.

Swamp Thing- the last, most homeless Earth elemental. That's gotta suck.

Clark Kent has taken blue-collar jobs since being Superboy, working in mines, etc, usually as an undercover operation. For example, in "The Steeplejack of Steel" he was a construction worker. Part-time working class hero.

Mutants- the story of the Xmen in a lot of ways parallelled the Civil Rights movement. There are plenty of blue-collar members of the Xmen, Alpha Flight, and their offspring, most famously Wolverine.

Booster Gold was a janitor. Kyle Rainer, Green Lantern, was...unemployed, I guess.

Bobo, the Detective Chimp

That's all for now...might edit later.
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« Reply #22 on: September 07, 2005, 12:30:48 AM »

Quote from: "Gangbuster Thorul"
hehe...now that's more like it.

Well, here we go then, with more recent characters. I would consider cops, firefighters, etc. more working class heroes than government agents. But I digress.

Superboy. Maybe this is why people like Smallville better than they like other Superman shows... it shows the Kents, farming.


Pre-Crisis, the Kents also owned the Kent General Store in Smallville, where young Clark Kent helped out (they had sold the farm and bought the store by the time Clark began school).

Quote

John Henry Irons- as we first saw him, a construction worker saved by Superman. Since then, the character has been really messed up a lot.

Spider-Man- Peter Parker, photographer.

Swamp Thing- the last, most homeless Earth elemental. That's gotta suck.

Clark Kent has taken blue-collar jobs since being Superboy, working in mines, etc, usually as an undercover operation. For example, in "The Steeplejack of Steel" he was a construction worker. Part-time working class hero.

Mutants- the story of the Xmen in a lot of ways parallelled the Civil Rights movement. There are plenty of blue-collar members of the Xmen, Alpha Flight, and their offspring, most famously Wolverine.

Booster Gold was a janitor. Kyle Rainer, Green Lantern, was...unemployed, I guess.

Bobo, the Detective Chimp

That's all for now...might edit later.


Kyle was supposed to be an artist (though judging from the imaginativeness of his ring constructs that I saw, probably not much of one.... ;-P).
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