[Week Five broadcast of “The Superhero Show” from WAMH 89.3 FM Amherst; originally aired 10/24/2015]
Question of the week: How long do we have until superhero technology exists?
The answer, much to Tony Stark’s dismay in Iron Man 2, is that this technology is already here.
During this week’s broadcast, we discussed some of technology inherent in the superhero genre that is now present in reality (a life imitates art kinda thing), i.e. artificial intelligence in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Avengers: Age of Ultron, animal-ability devices such as sonar surveillance in Batman: The Dark Knight or even Spider-Man.
In reality, drones, increasing surveillance, and artificial intelligence are rapidly innovated. At UMass Amherst, a group of scientists actually created a pair of gloves that allows the user to stick to sheer surfaces like Spider-Man.
It leaves no residue and is based on characteristics found in the gecko’s climbing and sticking abilities.
But what about the morality of these innovations?
It’s not that solutions proposed are unlikely to work but that, in solving the “problem,” solutionists twist it in such an ugly and unfamiliar way that, by the time it is “solved,” the problem becomes something else entirely.
Anyone familiar with Avengers: Age of Ultron is all too aware of this phenomenon.
Since women are mostly used to keep men alive in this genre, a tool as part of the solution, creation, but never really in on the solving, are they technology, too? Like all media, their purpose never changes; they are just designed as newer models periodically. They all fall in one (or sometimes both) category:
- Being a damsel for a male character
- Keeping a/the male alive
Homework: Watch any superhero movie where a female is NOT the main lead, and tell me if there is a female star who does NOT fall into one of the categories above.
Good luck with that…
Current Lead of Favorite Superhero Poll
“The Superhero Show” broadcasts live from WAMH at Amherst College on Saturday nights from 8-9pm EDT/US. Listen at 89.3FM or wamhradio.com