This week Kalie guest lectured for my MARVELous Justice course, my class which uses comic books and comic book movies to examine social justice issues and the Sisters of Mercy’s Critical Concerns in particular. Kalie is getting her PhD in literary criticism, with her focus on the mad monster. I’ve asked her to come in a few times to give my students an introduction to Monster Theory so they can add it to the avenues of analysis we use for the comics and films we explore. As part of her presentation, Kalie always asks my class what their favorite childhood monster was and why they liked it. The first time I heard her ask this question, I found myself lost in thought. What was my favorite monster as a kid? Did I even have one? I never liked being scared, that’s for sure. The answer hit in a bolt of clarity! What an easy question! It’s no contest! My favorite monster was Venom. As soon as Eddie Brock bonded with the symbiote, I was hooked. I love Venom! I adore Venom! Looking at my relationship with this monster as I followed along with Kalie’s lesson taught me a lot about myself, too.
The Monsters and the Doctor: Reframing That Which Scares Us
One of my favorite marks of the Doctor’s character is the way they respond to meeting all manner of monsters. When I first began watching Doctor Who this was one of the earliest signs of how different a hero they were than I was used to. Time and again – no matter how scary or threatening or unapproachable whatever the Doctor finds in the universe may appear – their first reaction is never one of fear or judgment. They certainly never attack. Rather, they marvel at its beauty. They are overcome with joy and excitement at seeing something they’ve never seen before. And, if what they encounter appears frightened or injured, they are moved by compassion and offer help. In all this they are a beautifully important model for us, too. As Steven Moffatt, the Doctor Who showrunner for Series 5-10, rightly observed, “There will never come a time when we don’t need a hero like the Doctor.”
The Immortal Hulk: Rooting for and Fearing the Monster Within
HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE! In honor of this spookiest of all holidays, I’ve written a guest post for Kalie over at her horror blog, Just Dread-Full, about Al Ewing’s new horror/superhero hybrid series The Immortal Hulk. As all the best Hulk comics do, this gives us all sort of superheroic destruction while leading us to look deeply into our own hearts and contemplate our own inner demons. It’s an intriguing comic and I’m proud of the post so I think you should head over to Kalie’s blog right now to read my post about The Immortal Hulk. Please? PLEASE. C’mon! Just click this link and you’ll make me sooooooooo happy 🙂. Please and thank you!