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Crave Online: Chronicle Review

CO - Scott McCloud, the writer of the indispensable tome Understanding Comics, refers to superhero stories as “Power Fantasies,” but sometimes I wonder. So many of our superheroes have become cultural institutions – Batman, Superman and Spider-Man among them – that they don’t seem to embody any kind of plausible daydream. We don’t fantasize about being Batman, it seems; we fantasize about the kind of scenarios Batman might get into, and I suspect that diminishes the superhero concept’s power to really capture our imagination. Josh Trank’s new film Chronicle captures the wonder of the superhero power fantasy in a way few films ever have, and that many actual comics seem to have abandoned in an attempt to juxtapose the fantastic with the humdrum. It does so by riffing on Akira, but that’s not so bad.

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