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‘1 for 1: Action Philosophers’ – Advance Comic Book Review

The title Action Philosophers is a bit misleading. When I first heard about it, I thought it would be something akin to Albert Einstein: Time Mason—real, historical characters getting caught up in epic fantasy/adventure stories. Plato is a pro wrestler. Nietzsche is a superhero. How can that be anything short of awesome?

Well, if that’s what you’re looking for, you’re going to be disappointed. Action Philosophers is really more like Philosophy 101: The Comic. It’s also set up as being aimed at kids, but there’s a bit of coarse language and risqué humor that makes it less than suitable for the younger crowd. In a lot of ways, it’s a very different comic than what it looks like at face value.

In Action Philosophers, Plato is indeed a pro wrestler—for about one page. Then, he leaves wrestling for philosophy, and it’s hardly mentioned again. The rest of Plato’s saga is an overview of his life and teachings, from his training under Socrates to his founding of The Academy, and from the Allegory of the Cave to the City in Speech. It lays the basic tenets of Platonism, illustrated with amusing drawings and somewhat silly situations. All the while, Plato himself wears a Lucha Libre mask and talks like Cookie Monster.

Then, we move on to Nietzsche, who, of course, is a superhero to illustrate his concept of the Ubermensch. Super Nietzche punches out Adolf Hitler and Leopold and Loeb for misunderstanding his teachings. But, again, most of the story isn’t action, but an overview of his philosophy.

I’m being too harsh on the comic, though. This is a clever and effective—albeit somewhat silly—way of introducing basic philosophical concepts. Nietzsche is particularly difficult, as he’s so often misinterpreted and misrepresented. Action Philosophers not only gets the philosophy right, it makes it accessible. It’s definitely simplified, but it’s not watered down. The comic is a little contrived, a little simplistic, and more than a little corny, but it’s also pretty fun. If you’re interested in learning about philosophy, you might enjoy Action Philosophers.

Steven W. Alloway, Fanbase Press Contributor



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