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Literary Origins of the Supermen


In the world of superheroes, it seems that feats of physical strength and acrobatic prowess are possibly the most prevalent demonstration of super powers. One must wonder if such physical powers are a product of the time in which these comics were originally produced – the 1930s for DC’s iconic Superman and 1941 for Marvel’s super soldier, Captain America – or does this sort of hero have roots that extend deeper into literary history. Obviously, mythology is full of heroes who have superhuman strength, stamina, and agility with Thor and Hercules being the most famous in the world of comics for their huge roles in the Marvel Universe (and smaller ones in DC). However, there is a bridge, figuratively speaking, between the heroes of myth and their newer incarnations in the comic book world, and that bridge is found in the works of classical, medieval, and Renaissance literature.

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‘Ody-C’ #1 is Gender Swapped, Space Faring Brilliance

The Odyssey is one of the oldest and best stories of Western civilization and has been adapted, retold, and expanded upon many times over the years in mediums as disparate as film (O Brother Where Art Thou), modernist novel (Ulysses), and even epic poem (The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel). In Ody-C #1, Matt Fraction and Christian Ward move the wanderings of wily Odysseus to space while performing gender swaps on the majority of the characters. Odysseus is now Captain Odyssia, the leader of one of the only three ships to survive the war against the siegeworld Troia. Like any good adapter, Fraction keeps much of the core of the Odyssey, which is the fickleness of the gods, the difficulty of returning home, and Odyssia’s personal struggle between her yearning for adventure and settling peacefully for her family.

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