Tuesday, September 04, 2007

And the only thing to fear is Mister Fear himself...

Somehow, I had never actually caught this Winston Churchill quote before, which is credited to a speech he gave in 1943 upon receiving an honorary law degree from Harvard: "the price of greatness is responsibility." FDR said something similar in a state of the union address two years later: "In a democratic world, as in a democratic Nation, power must be linked with responsibility." And a quick Google search shows no shortage of other potential inspirations for Stan Lee and his legendary 'with great power (comes/must come) great responsibility' line from Spider-man's first appearance. Churchill and FDR seem to make for the most reasonable inspirations, though. It's interesting that Spider-man is usually regarded as an incredibly modern hero, one who's almost outside the WWII milieu that created Superman or Captain America, the cold war politics that allowed for the Fantastic Four, or the racial tension that gave us the X-Men - which is to say that he's treated as somehow universal and beyond ideology. And yet the crux of the character is derived from Churchill and/or Roosevelt. Go figure.

(Apologies to anyone who reads this for not posting anything in the past two weeks. It's just been that kind of two weeks.)

2 comments:

scott s said...

speaking of comics and politics, what do you think of this guardian blog:

http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/books/2007/09/why_wont_comics_deal_with_terr.html

neilshyminsky said...

Thanks - I'll check that out.