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Is Jean Valjean a Superhero?

As the Les Miserables musical hit theaters this holiday, Hugh Jackman drew fans among tweens, compelling one Slate reporter to ask this question: “is Jean Valjean a superhero?

Here’s more from Slate: “For one thing, Valjean (pictured, via) has super strength—the strength of ‘four men,’ as Victor Hugo tells us. He also has a secret identity: When he leaves prison after 19 years (the result of first stealing bread for his sister’s starving family and then trying to escape), he breaks parole and changes his name to Monsieur Madeleine.”

Back in 2011, a group of comic book experts gathered together for a New York Comic Con panel to discuss the characteristics that make up a superhero.

They identified two particular qualities; a personality that serves their community and abilities that go beyond what humans are realistically capable of. What do you think?

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