Ep 24: Superheroes and Persona; Can You Have a Secret Identity Crisis?

Welcome one and all to Professor Metal’s Irate Debate and Calamitous Commentary with the Philosophical Chain Gang
Today’s Episode is Superheroes and Persona: Can you have a secret identity crisis?
The Philosophers talk about what one’s identity is composed of
Sean addresses the philosophical concepts of identity as relates to superheroes
Bruce talks about what defines a superhero
Ryver interjects why the secret identity is so common in the realm of superheroes
Sean breaks down the concepts of identity that will be discussed
The Philosophers talk about the combined identity, when a hero is, for one of many reasons, inseparable from their heroic identity
Sean discusses the somewhat fluid nature of the identity of some super-powered people, such as Mystique.
Bruce brings up superheroes who are two people combined into one body
Sean compares this to the inverse of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Ryver talks about this in relation to Deadpool
Sean talks about the lack of accountability that can occur from using the masks to hide a heroes identity
The Philosophers discuss how this relates to The Watchmen
Ryver and Sean talk about the meaning and power of masks in history
Bruce talks about how this relates to Superheroes
Sean talks about the assumed identity of the Red Hood from the Batman mythos
Sean brings the conversation around to the concept of the Split Persona, the idea that the person behind the mask and the person they are when they are wearing the mask are somewhat different people
Ryver talks about how the identity of someone wearing the mask of Batman has, in a way, become larger and more prevalent than anyone behind it could become on their own
Bruce brings up the idea that Bruce Wayne is not the real person in that dynamic, but more a tool and strategy employed by the Batman
Ryver points outĀ  that Clark Kent plays a very similar role for Superman, just in a different way.
Sean points out the disparity in those situations
Ryver brings up Spider-Man/Peter Parker as prime example of the Split Personality concept
Sean goes into detail about this disparity of identity
Bruce brings up the Hulk as good example, with no transparency of even memory between the characters of The Hulk and Bruce Banner
Ryver brings up The Flash as a Split AND group personality
Sean moves the conversation into group or Inherited personality, starting with The Dread Pirate Roberts
Ryver talks about how prevalent this concept is in comic books
Bruce expounds on the importance of core origin story, and some factors that may lead to some mantles being passed that occur outside of the storyline itself
Ryver talks about the Elseworlds and What If series of comics as a means to retell an existing story
Sean expands on the points about the Red Sun comics, and how this relates to literature
Ryver discusses the Green Lantern as an archetype of the inherited personality concept, and how this allows writers to tell different stories about the same hero
Sean talks about the seeking out of a person who fits a particular archetype for the Green Lantern, creating similar, though not identical, type of hero
Ryver explains this point in greater detail
Sean and Ryver talk about the fairly recent controversial passing of the mantle of Thor, and how this relates to the politics of the comics industry
Bruce and Sean transition to talking about how these concepts relate to personas that we can identify with, and why the outsider nature of many heroes makes them in some ways more relatable
Ryver discusses the therapeutic effect of this relationship between reader and comic
Sean talks about how this relates to both the real world and other media
The Philosophers expand on these ideas as it relates to the reader’s identity
Sean closes the main conversation with some interesting questions about why we feel the way we do when characters change
Professor Metal takes the last word to challenge comic writers to come up with characters that budding young villains can really look up to.

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