The Pop Mythologist

The Pop Mythologist
The Pop Mythologist is the founder and editor of PopMythology.com. He has been a staff writer for the nationally distributed magazine KoreAm , the online journal of pop culture criticism Pop Matters and has written freelance for various other publications and websites.

Arrow: A Quiver Full of Life Lessons

The bow and arrow is one of the most powerful symbols in human history and culture. Nearly every ancient civilization’s mythology has heroes and gods who favored the weapon: Artemis (Greece), Cupid (Rome), Arjuna (India) and Houyi (China). And there are beloved characters from folklore like Robin Hood leading up …

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Iron Man: Step Up to the (Metal) Plate

One look at Iron Man in both the comics and the movies and it’s not hard to see why, on the surface, he’s such a popular character: He’s rich, famous, good-looking, surrounded by cutting-edge technology, creatively and intellectually brilliant and armed with the funniest mouth in the Marvel universe next to Spider-Man. In short, he’s everything that women want and everything that men want to be.

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Heroes and Monsters: When Good Girls Go Bad

There's often a thin line between what separates heroes and monsters. If you think about it quite a number of horror/thriller movies are basically superhero stories gone wrong. This post will talk about a sub-genre (or more like a sub-sub-genre) of horror that I'll arbitrarily call "superhero horror" and the morals and lessons we can extract from them.

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2012: The Year in Heroism

Every year, as we approach its end, many of the bigger news media outlets typically have retrospective reviews of news highlights from the year with titles like “2012: A Year to Remember” (or something of that sort). Usually, as reported by the bigger news entities, a significant portion of these …

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Bam! Pow! Real-Life Hero DangerMan Knocks Out Violence, Illiteracy & Poverty

At PopMythology.com, in addition to using pop culture as a way to promote heroic qualities and virtues, we also periodically feature real-life people who, in some way or another, are using superhero symbolism to promote goodness and positivity in the world and in their communities. Today’s real-life superhero is Roger …

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New York: A City of Superheroes

New York is a city of superheroes. Of course, here follows my usual disclaimer that superheroes are metaphorical archetypes, and so by “superhero,” I don’t mean people with supernatural powers in tights and capes.  I mean regular people demonstrating heroic attributes:  bravery, generosity, compassion, selflessness or often some combination of …

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Phoenix Jones: Real-Life Superhero or Misguided Vigilante?

Most of what I treasure about the superhero genre are the symbolic meanings and mythological wisdom embedded within it.  And while I love comic books and comic-related material, there’s definitely no mistaking them for anything resembling realism.  This goes even for something as dark and somber as Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight film …

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The Amazing Spider-Man: Finding your power and knowing your responsibility

The primary message of Spider-Man the character, of course, has always been that “with great power comes great responsibility.” It’s a beautiful aphorism but the problem is that many people feel that it has little relevance for them because the last thing they feel like is powerful.

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