Wolfenstein’s BJ Blazkowicz is one particular of the initial to start with human being shooter protagonists. He is a muscle bound motion hero, the all-American army male. By means of analyzing BJ’s physique, Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus paints a skinny line involving electric power fantasy and Aryan ideals.
Soon after his damage at the start out of The New Order, BJ recovers in a Polish asylum. The assumption is that a burly, blond soldier just cannot be nearly anything but a Nazi war veteran. The fascination with BJ’s physique persists during the match, most notably in a sequence with Frau Engel on a train to Berlin. Walking by the eating auto, Engel stops BJ to admire his determine. It is an Aryan determine, she suggests, her tone dripping with sexual lust. In this second, BJ is an embodiment of an best: highly effective, handsome, and outstanding. He seems like the best Nazi, as properly as the model of an best online video match protagonist.
The New Colossus picks up this fascination with BJ’s physique. Throughout the match, he wears various satisfies and bodies that express distinctive ideas of electric power. At the start out of the match, BJ is wracked by accidents sustained at the close of The New Order. To compensate for his bodily deficiencies, he dons a match of electric power armor utilised by resistance leader Caroline Becker. The match was established by the mysterious Jewish firm Da’at Yichud. It is a highly effective shell that retains BJ on his ft as his genuine physique fails him.
BJ is the son of a Polish Jew, quietly spiritual in his inner monologues. To confront off towards the Nazis, he is dependent on the Da’at Yichud armor. It is a manifestation of religion, a feat of Jewish ingenuity that wards off harm and lets BJ to confidently confront his enemies. He is buoyed by a relic of his religion, safeguarded by a shell of Jewish structure intended to climate the anti-semitic hordes. But even this newfound armor can be damaged and overwhelmed. Faith, at the very least in The New Colossus, can’t last permanently in the confront of unspeakable oppression.
Halfway by the match, BJ is captured by General Engel and experimented with for terrorism. An elaborate escape sequence plays out in which BJ kills his captors and encounters his mom. It is a dream—instead, he is executed publically in entrance of a cheering crowd collected at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. Engel cuts his head off and casts it into a furnace. It is a stunning second that offers way to pulp science as BJ’s comrades manage to get better his head just before it can be burned, preserving his brain alive in a jar. They attach his head to a “biologically improved supersoldier body” stolen from the Nazis.
BJ’s reconstruction is equally foolish and substantial. It is telling that BJ’s head, with its rugged characteristics, matches so properly onto a Nazi-crafted model of bodily perfection. He doesn’t glance much distinctive now than he did in his initial physique. BJ could be a Texas-born Military Ranger, but he was under no circumstances much off from the Nazi best. The New Colossus is greatly concerned with the design of bodies and the form and sort of oppressors. It is substantial that BJ, as a finely-honed killing machine, physically dovetails with the Aryan best. If his physique is not so much taken off from a Nazi physique, what makes him distinctive than his foes? It is ultimately a make any difference of perception.
BJ’s physique could be the Aryan best, but his thoughts is what separates him from his enemies. The New Colossus firmly argues that violent resistance is a vital act. It cares about the direction violence flows. BJ’s violence is not directed in direction of the oppressed or marginalized it is targeted on destroying systems and agents of oppression.
Criticizing the design of BJ’s physique also poses queries about online video match protagonists and electric power fantasies. Early shooters, specifically in the 1990s, ended up a cavalcade of burly adult men, the apex being the chiseled, blond Duke Nukem. All that mattered ended up the muscle tissues. The New Colossus seems back again at this. Bodily, BJ embodies the exact same electric power fantasy as he did back again in 1992. 24 decades later on, he’s nonetheless capturing Nazis, but with additional introspection. In transforming BJ’s armor and physique, The New Colossus examines the design of heroes and villains and establishes that although there are superficial similarities to be uncovered in their bodies, there is a significant big difference in their hearts.