"If a superhero can be such a powerful and effective metaphor for male adolescence, then what else can you do with them? Could you build a superhero story around a metaphor for female adolescence? Around mid-life crisis? Around the changes adults go through when they become parents? Sure, why not? And if a superhero can exemplify America's self-image at the dawn of World War II, could a superhero exemplify America's self-image during the less-confident 1970s? How about the emerging national identity of a newly-independent African nation? Or a non-national culture, like the drug culture, or the "greed-is-good" business culture of the go-go Eighties? Of course. If it can do one, it can do the others."
-Kurt Busiek, in his introduction to "Astro City: Life in the Big City"
I've been asked before, by family, by my girlfriend, by friends, why I read comics, and even more geekily, why I invest so much time, money, and passion into the Vs. System card game. It's hard to explain, but I think Kurt Busiek does a pretty good job. Superheroes have a metaphorical, a symbolic power, almost by their very nature, both in their own fictional world but also, more importantly, in ours. A superhero can emulate the angsts and needs of his time, but he can also reflect the bygone values of a lost age, or the emerging hopes of a potential new one. In a way, the genre of 'superhero fiction' - not really a genre, I know - is among the most modern and versatile genres there are.
Vs captures some of that passion for me, some of that screaming power. Don't get me wrong, I don't play it just because of the superheroes - I play it because it's the best damn game out there. But without that initial push, I might never have learned about it.
I don't know where you're coming to this blog from, if you're coming at all. Some of the posts - obviously! - are extremely Vs-centric, and some are very comic-book-y. Sometimes I'll talk about movies, and sometimes music, and sometimes I'll tell you what my favorite novels are, or what I love in role-playing games. Whatever. I guess this post was a little post-intro-explanatroduction, and as such, I'll keep it succinct.
Go out and try something new. If you're a Vs. fan who never picked up a comic book, or never strayed from the Big Guys (Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, Wolverine, etc...) give something else a shot. Try out Blue Beetle, by John Rogers, or Grant Morrison's Animal Man, or Seven Soldiers. Or go way out there, and hit up something like Lucifer, or Y: The Last Man.
If you're a comic book fan, give Vs. a shot. You can build decks and play them for free online, and if you want me to teach you with a game or two, let me know. It's a great game, it really is, and it has one of the best player-bases I've ever had the pleasure to interact with.
And, if you don't like either Vs OR comics...well, you've got a whole helluva lot of things to try out, don't you? Enjoy them!
Download for the program to play Vs free online: http://forum.tcgplayer.com/showthread.php?t=114390