Cyberspace Web





Enter the web.


Martin MystĖre has a thousand faults. He contradicts the concept of a comic book hero as defined by western comic book culture.

Before he even dons his cape, Superman knows whom he's going to battle, and which powers in his repertoire might be most handy in defeating his enemy. In the very least, his repertoire is limited, or in certain cases, is simply irrelevant. When people try to shoot Superman, for instance, he does not even need to do anything. Bullets simply bounce off his chest. He has perfect resistance against such attacks. The problem may well be that Superman is a bit too perfect for his own good, as are almost all other western comic book heroes.

MystĖre is hardly perfect. He's wildly intelligent, extremely athletic, highly knowledgeable and dazzlingly handsome, although admittedly, he has an equal number of faults. For instance, he has a bitter sense of irony, he doesn't take himself very seriously, he has a tendency to be late, a good deal of verbosity, and a fear of growing old. Upon initiating one of his investigations, he usually has little idea as to what he may encounter or which skills he may need to fall back on in order to deal with the problems he will face. In most cases, the skills that he uses cannot be discretely defined. Sometimes he has to apply his visual arts education to his computer science background, for instance, so that he can solve a puzzle that will open a door in the dungeons of a medieval castle. MystĖre's repertoire of abilities is virtually infinite.

His greatest attribute remains his adaptability. Unlike Nietzsche's øbermann, who is perfect in everything (or in a comic book interpretation, perfect in every relevant attribute, such attributes being defined by the hero's silly costume and equally silly name) Martin MystĖre is what we may call a hypermann. He excels sufficiently well in a variety of respects, and by hyperreading through his lexia of abilities, he builds a hyperhero for each particular adventure he embarks on. Martin MystĖre the hero uniquely emerges in every episode, much like the emergent behavior in the bottom-up procedure of C++ programming.

In an everchanging society, only those who dare to destroy and recreate themselves over and over again can remain succesful. They won't succeed every time, but they will have the means and the motivation to change tactics and retry until they do.

Superman could never do that. He would be too busy posing atop a skyscraper while thinking to himself that his cape, flapping in the wind, looks incredibly cool.