Idolized Dystopia #reflection

Idolized Dystopia

So, this isn’t the first time something like this has happened. I’m sure it won’t be the last. And even then, it has enough weirdness connected with it that when we run across it we have to scratch our head as we look at it cross-eyed. I know, typical opening from me where I am incredibly vague and don’t really tell you anything but still expect you to keep reading in the hopes that I might have a point. And of course, by the time you get to the end you realize I never had a point. I just kept typing in circles and nothing was accomplished. Or something…

Anyway, here is the thought for the day. Think back a bit if you will. To a time when Pixar brought out a super hero story. If you aren’t enough of a geek to know, I am talking about The Incredibles. I am not going to get into all of that other than to pull a single thought from it. Syndrome gave us the thought that when everyone is super, then no one is. He sought a super powered dystopian world. This was 2004.

In 2006 there was a show on Syfy (before they changed their station letters) from Stan Lee called Who wants to be a Superhero. The show lasted two seasons with the basic premise of a reality show where people were competing to become super heroes. Personally, I loved the concept because reality shows are everything but reality and then when you take the fantasy of superheroes and put them in that environment, you are caught in this circular meta logic where nothing makes sense anymore.

Which brings us to 2013. This was the year that Aspen comics gave us Idolized. Not only is it a comic about a reality show where people are competing to join a super hero team. But the world is now filled with people who have powers. And there is a game show, a reality show where they compete to join a superhero team.Idolized Dystopia

Yeah, that in and of itself is a bit meta. It’s a concept stretching into itself and going a bit out of whack. I mean seriously, in any superhero story we have known, the heroes are heroes because of something heroic they have done. You know, the usual, blah blah blah…

But here’s the thing I find interesting. Without actually pointing to the dystopian aspect of a world filled with powered people, we still see it in action. The main character has had her powers pretty much the majority of her life. And through a fateful moment, she is set on a path of revenge. This of course, leads to her as a contestant on the show. And yeah, gives us a reason for the storyline. I mean, we gotta have that, right? Anyway…

So, the entire time I am reading this one, my mind flashes back to the episodes of Who Wants to be a Superhero. Yeah, the contests were different, but the concept still remained. And of course, all of the manufactured drama that can be put into a reality show is present. It’s a circular twisting path that twists back and forth on itself in a way that makes sense only with the connections to the other entities (I mean shows here).

Granted, without the outside connections, the story follows the path of a typical story. You have all the normal arcs you expect a story to have. But that gets to be boring. This is a story, at least for me, that pays to have a broader knowledge base to fully enjoy. Or maybe it’s because I have that other knowledge that I find the enjoyment that I do from it.

Maybe, just maybe, I am reading too much into something that is actually much simpler than I am allowing it to be in my mind. It could happen. Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you. Or something…

I digress…

What it all really comes down to here is, I tend to like the art of most of the Aspen Comics I have read. This one falls firmly into place with them. The concept for the story is a bit silly, but how could it not be? It’s still a comic (a fantasy) about a reality show (a live action fantasy). I mean, come on, were approaching oxymoron on so many different levels. How can you not enjoy something that causes us to use those fancy words we learned in 7th grade English?

You ever get the chance, it is worth a read. You never know, you may approach it from an odd angle like I did. Your mind may take you down a rabbit hole that twists and turns in unexpected ways.


If you enjoy these stories, consider leaving some coffee money in the jar or you could buy a book or two. Either way helps keep the stories flowing.

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