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What is Love...?

Posted On Monday, July 2, 2012

The Trouble w/Love celebration continues!  Featured in the inaugural issue of On the Horizon, here is the initial pitch for TTw/L*:

An Affair to Remember

     There's something intimidating about Superman.  Sure, he's a physical phenom, with a classically athletic build, able to carry the weight of the world and ore, but that's not it.  It's not JUST the powers either, which render him impervious to harm, able to see the stars up close and fly amongst them.  Much more, namely, his staunch moral code -- a set of values that have remained wholly unaltered for most of his storied seventy-plus years.  He believes in the greater good: the decency in all human beings; the unshakable merit of honesty and the inherent justice with which the universe operates -- and he's pledged himself to uphold its value to near perfect execution.
     The "do-good" nature of our oldest and most world-renowned superhero has been said to be too obtuse in our modern society.  With our interpretation of moral values and ethical codes of conduct, his attitude towards truth, justice and the American way, come off as archaic; an antiquated platitude from a time go by, that today's readers can't relate.  In essence, that which has defined him as the penultimate hero, setting him apart from the THOUSANDS of heroes who've followed in his wake, has now set him apart from US as well.

     What we've shown, time and again, is a favoring of a super-man who's willing to get a little rough; act a little dirty and cross a line or two.  We've molded the archetype, starting first with the ambiguous "vigilante," -- a person who takes up their own effort to fight crime and tyranny -- then taking that to the rather prolific form of the "anti-hero" -- a figure whose mannerisms are FAR from righteous, but guided by a deep sense of justice and good intention.  We do REQUIRE that socially acceptable goal to be the light at the end of the tunnel.  Sure you may maim, you may torture and you might even KILL a villain or two, but it's all in pursuit of creating a better world than the one that's made you.  
     Our need to do what's right is a vestige of our own humanity...or specifically, a counteraction to it.  Though we've admittedly strayed from the level that Superman maintains, we do aim for some sense of righteousness to compete with the character flaws we've come to accept as being "human."  As a civilized society, we've held certain mores in the highest regard; social linchpins that keep us from descending into TOTAL hedonistic chaos...things like life, freedom and love.  But, is it possible for a HERO to defy those unalienable precepts?  Can they choose a path that doesn't coincide with our idea of the greater good and STILL maintain their heroic status?  
     In The Trouble w/Love, I explore that notion through the backdrop of infidelity -- one of the few social aberrations to exist.  In this series, the main character, Apex Prime (himself a Superman analog), during his exploits of saving the world, managed to settle down, marry and start a family.  And after a few years of this life, after being set on the path that should last him to the end of his days, he falls in love...with someone else.  What of his role as a hero?  What of his family?  People struggle with the bonds of love all the time, why should a super-man be exempt?

*Edited slightly for clarity!

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