I had a Serious Geek Moment yesterday. I was standing in a comic book store talking with the clerk who had way too much knowledge of comic books, even for a clerk in a comic book store, talking about Warren Ellis’ new series called Global Frequency. I was recounting how I’d read about the comic series in MIT Technology Review and how Ellis’ idea is the first pop-cultural application I had seen of the compelling new theory about political power and social affiliation in Howard Rheingold book Smart Mobs. Good futurists know that one can find emerging cultural memes in the comic books and video games of the emerging generation.
Then I thought to myself, “Cody, listen to yourself. You are such a total, serious nerd. It’s a good thing you’re aready married.”
Anyway, my interest was piqued because I am studying and scanning for tidbits on the future of community and this was an inteteresting cultural idea — community as superhero. In Global Frequency, when the world is threatened, it’s not Superman or even the Justice League that comes swooping out of the sky to save the planet. It’s this loose network of “everyday people” that come together to meet the threat. Kind of like a volunteer fire department on steroids.
Granted, the “everyday people” are not so “everyday” — ex special forces operatives, intelligence specialists, helicopter pilots, hackers, ex-cops, etc.– and the action is still very… Let’s say it’s still written with the rippling muscles, gore, and explosions that a medium that caters to young males demands.
But it’s the *idea* that superheroes can be replaced by people banding together and helping out of a sense of altruism that’s a novel idea. And it’s one that I like the idea of exposing to the young men (and yes, some women) who read sci-fi comic books. They are, most likely, the technocrats who will be making decisions about the world when I’m in my golden years.