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Do we have a new Dr. Wertham on our hands?

“There is a big difference in the movie superhero of today and the comic book superhero of yesterday,” said psychologist Sharon Lamb, PhD, distinguished professor of mental health at University of Massachusetts-Boston.

Since no single place seems to have a comprehensive write-up about his study (including the APA itself), I did some clicking around and found that she specifically sites Iron Man, Hulk, and the Fantastic Four as bad models, while Superman is cited as a positive one. So apparently she’s a DC fan?

“Today’s superhero is too much like an action hero who participates in non-stop violence; he’s aggressive, sarcastic and rarely speaks to the virtue of doing good for humanity.”

This woman obviously has no idea what she is talking about. First of all, most of “today’s” superheroes are more than 40 years old. Secondly, she’s obviously never read any Superman comics from the 1940’s. That fellow was always throwing cars around and being sarcastic with gangsters. And “rarely speaks to doing good for humanity”? Ummmm….isn’t that the motive behind ALL present-day movie heroes? Did she watch any of these movies?

The comic book heroes of the past did fight criminals, she said, “but these were heroes boys could look up to and learn from because outside of their costumes, they were real people with real problems and many vulnerabilities,” she said.

This is completely ass-backwards. It’s the modern superheroes who are “real people” with “problems and vulnerabilities”.

I think if someone has the time and inclination to dig into the background of this study, they’ll find it’s financed by Time Warner.

[APA, The Guardian, and others]

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