Oesterheld’s Iconic and Ironic Eternautas
When speaking of Héctor Germán Oesterheld and his Eternautas series of comics, we are speaking of multiple and interlocking levels of icons. Oesterheld first began the historieta [comic] about the time-traveling Juan Salvo, known as the “Eternauta,” in the late 1950s, later revisiting it in the 1960s and 1970s. In the three Eternauta narratives in question,1 a group of intrepid technologically savvy individuals struggle against a deadly phosphorescent snowfall and a series of alien species only to have the news of their local victory obliterated by nuclear devastation and alien treachery. Attempts to avoid this near-future reality for Buenos Aires and/or the reconstruction of the city occupy the later installments of the series. This chapterwill examine the evolution of Oesterheld’s use of science fiction (SF) icons within the Eternauta narratives over three decades in order to discuss the cultural assumptions underlying the sf genre, Argentine attitudes toward technology, sf and political strife, and national and global power dynamics.
This accepted book chapter is published as Haywood-Ferreira, R.“Oesterheld’s Iconic and Ironic Eternautas.” Latin American Science Fiction: Theory and Practice, Eds. M. Elizabeth Ginway and J. Andrew Brown. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. 155-84. Reproduced with permission of Palgrave Macmillan'. 'This extract is taken from the author's original manuscript and has not been edited. The definitive, published, version of record is available here: https://www.palgrave.com/us/book/9781137281227. Posted with permission.