Friday, 21 July 2017

Artos, Superhero

Superman, John Carter and Artos:

Kryptonian body cells store and maximally utilize yellow solar energy, bestowing strength, speed, invulnerability, enhanced vision and flight;

in Martian gravity, John Carter can leap above and decapitate a twelve-foot green Martian;

Carter also sees red and becomes exulted in combat, as does SM Stirling's Artos:

"He struck and struck, and struck and struck, killing with each blow."
-SM Stirling, The High King Of Montival (New York, 2011), Chapter Nineteen, p. 452.

Some superheroes derive their powers from a special weapon. Artos' is the Sword which bestows powers like a birds' eye view of a battlefield and a knowledge of the exact numbers of the enemy. Superhero fiction blends sf (Superman is extraterrestrial) and fantasy (Captain Marvel's powers are supernatural) and this blend is also present in Stirling's Emberverse.

7 comments:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I simply can't believe in the powers of Kryptonian body cells because I'm asked to swallow too implausibly MUCH.

I know gravity is lighter on Mars but we both know a man from Earth simply won't be able to leap as high as does John Carter. That said, ERB wrote so well that I can still enjoy reading his Barsoom books. And I think you meant to say Carter became "exalted" in combat, not "exulted."

I admit to finding Artos' Sword of the Lady and its abilities a bit of a strain to accept. But, like ERB, Stirling wrote so well that I was able to mostly overlook that.

Sean

Paul Shackley said...

Sean,
I think that "exulted" sounds better for Carter but I agree that I have misused the word grammatically.
Paul.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Eliminating "becomes" from your original comment would make it more logical: "Carter also sees red and exulted in combat, as does S.M. Stirling's Artos." Then it becomes a statement to be judged on how true it was. That is, did John Carter and Artos EXULT in combat?

Sean



Paul Shackley said...

Sean,
That is what I should have written. Carter certainly did exult.
Paul.

S.M. Stirling said...

Carter does, but he's from a different culture and period. With Rudi/Artos it's more a matter of a transcendent state of unity with something beyond the world.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

And to be fair to John Carter, so did most Barsoomian warriors!

Sean

Sean M. Brooks said...

Dear Mr. Stirling,

True, and I would add as well that Rudi/Artos view of war is that it was grisly and horrible, but sometimes necessary.

Sean