Thursday, August 05, 2004

Starman and American Jewry

Continuing the theme of the Jewish Communities and Comic Books...
I have a soft spot in my heart for the (new) Starman. I think when it manages to stick to Earth (and Opal City) and its original vision, it really resembles the state of young American Jewry.

Like non-religious young American Jewry, Jack Knight, was sort of thrust into his role in life. For Jack it means taking on the mantle of Starman when his brother David was killed, from his father the original Starman, who invented all the tools. For American Jewry it means making sense of what it means to be Jewish in the twenty-first century. Especially after a large chuck of the Jewish people have been killed in the Holocaust. Jack Knight's exploration of the Superheroes of his father's age mirrors American Jewry's picking and choosing what their Judaism and Jewish roots mean.

But it is not only Starman who is making sense of the position that he inherited. His enemy Mist also gained her powers and enmity for the Knight family from her father the original Mist. And Jack Knight must negotiate relationships that he inherited from his father, such as those with O'Dare family, The Shade, and Blue Starman.
Unlike most comic books, Starman actually deals with a Superhero not created nor completely chosen by the protagonist, but rather something both inherited, chosen, and negotiated by all the superheros and supervillians, something like Judaism for most American Jews.

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