We are all experiencing a major paradigm shift, from a post-industrial to a pre-information age. When will comic books follow?
First of all, I love superheroes. I adore them. I think they are necessary reading for any kid who wants to grow up normally. I remember wishing I could fly and lift cars with my own strength. It’s a healthy phase in development.
The classic comic book story has been written thousands of times, though.
Some guy or gal gets superhuman powers or high-tech equipment. They quickly decide to defend the weak and punish the evil doers. They create a costume and head out into the night.
Their enemies are usually villains with enhanced strength, intellect, or both. These bad guys always seem bent on robbing banks and building giant ray guns on the moon. Or something like that. You get the picture.
But saving bank clerks and convenience store workers from gun point is SO 20th century.
Pieces of tomorrow will be controlled from networks of computers in distant lands with loose cyber laws.
It will soon be so much easier to rob banks remotely, with computer programs than with guns. It’s so much less messy. No vaults to blow up or guards to dose with sleeping gas.
This is great news for aging super crook Lex Luthor, Superman’s sworn enemy. Lex is a genius, inventor, thief, creator of powerful robots, and pretty good with computers. Superman is mighty. He always returns the stolen money to the rightful owners. But what will Superman do when the stolen money is a long strand of ones and zeroes stored inside the belly of a foreign computer that masks itself behind a shadow network? His strength will be useless.
So far, the villains look like they’re ahead of the good guys. If Superman were smart, he would leave his cape at home and take a night class on computer coding. That way, he can still wear his eye glasses. Not as a disguise, but for more practical reasons.