Two plays in Out of the Mount deal with superheroes, Bianca Dillard’s “No One’s Superman” and Lyvia Martinez’s “The Illegal Alien”.
Mormon writers are often, fairly or unfairly, dismissed categorically as a bunch of fantasy writers. And while certainly true that Mormons are surprisingly common in fantasy, science fiction, and related genres, outside of actual comics, written works about superheroes are relatively rare so having two in one volume is striking.
Neither of these plays features actual Mormon superheroes (for that you will have to look elsewhere, for instance my own play titled “Mormon Superhero“) and of all the plays in the collection, they are perhaps the most resistant to a Mormon reading.
But “resistant” is code for being particularly fruitful and I suspect that more theories will eventually be promoted here than for the other more obviously Mormon works. I’ll go first.
For starters, the superheroes in this book are painfully real. They have eating disorders and immigration issues. Yet they put on a happy face and continue to save the day.
The idea that Mormons are perfectly nice (etc) results in pressures that many have difficulty coping with.
Plus, doctrinally, Mormons are aiming for godhood.
What better metaphor than a beleaguered superhero?
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Read your own copy then return and discuss.