Almost as fun as reading comics is reading about comics. For those who don't want to shell out lots of money and slog through poorly-written crossovers, you can simply wiki (I use the very form because Firefox is programmed to do a "wiki [keyword]" search in the location bar on my machine) popular stories as the current "Infinite Crisis" or "House of M" and then decide if they're worth the money. It's not really like stealing; more like thumbing through the print editions, only without the clerks breathing down your necks. As is the model with online music sharing, anything that's really good will probably result in a purchase down the line. I'm not fond of being "tricked" into buying lame works, nor should you be. (And I don't have to open my sealed Death of Superman books.)
The Dark Knight Returns reminded me of The Watchmen in that they both centered around the idea of the Nietzschean Übermensch (at least in my readings). The struggle of the Übermensch can also be found in Waking Life, if you're looking for it. My take on it is that the question of the Übermensch is eternally recurring; to be, or rather: to do, or not to do. As Rush ask: "Is it living, or just existence?" Do you control your waking state, or simply float through it with the barest idea of what's going on? Do you control your body, or do your animal instincts and reactions control you?
In thinking and meditating on these concepts today, another idea occured to me which had not previously. The Übermensch is capable of anything he sets his mind to, but what sets his mind? In the case of Batman, it was the death of his parents. The Übermensch is nothing without a goal, without a driving force. Again, the paradox is that you can do everything, but if you do not limit yourself to doing something, you will never accomplish anything. This is good, though, as I'm meditating on self-efficacy and trying to convince myself of my own innate abilities, which must be tempered through hard work. My professor said something interesting the other day when we were discussing self-efficacy, to the effect that our greatest successes were also our greatest failures. Each failure brings you closer to, not further from, victory.
I plan to revisit these themes as I continue to develop Miguel. It's funny; I don't know that a single day goes by that I don't think about these characters, yet I haven't done any writing on the serial in months. I need to convince myself that getting off the pot is not an option; I have to be okay with shitting all over my keyboard. I guess it's hard precisely because all my characters are so close to my heart. Yet I can't get up the drive to engage in a project less critical to my self-image. Maybe I should go write some fanfiction under a pseudonym. Of course, any fanfiction by me would have to deal with rock, so look out for that dramatization of Spacehog's "Resident Alien" that's been in the back of my head forever, or a novelization of "Operation: Mindcrime".
I'm joking, I'm joking.