“Man of Steel”: An Immigration Allegory

The character of Superman presents an unusual challenge in the post-9/11 era of superheroes. We like our superheroes tortured and conflicted now, as a reflection of America’s uncertain place on the world stage. But historically, Superman has never had such inner conflict. To the contrary, he is more of a hokey do-gooder than a tortured…

The Most Conservative “Iron Man” Yet

Before we embark upon the unvarnished hero-worship of Man of Steel, let us take a long, perhaps last look at Tony Stark, the apotheosis of an era of superheroes who are defined as much by their faults as their virtues. Like all superheroes, Stark represents the best of humanity – courage, cunning, and physical fortitude…

“The Avengers,” 9/11, and the War on Terror

“If we can’t protect the Earth, you can be damn sure we’ll avenge it.” – Tony Stark/Iron Man in “The Avengers”  We ask a lot of the movies. We look to cinema to help us experience things that we can’t in real life. Sometimes it’s as simple as winning the big game or getting the…