This week marks the DVD and Blu-ray release of the Swedish film version of "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo," and so it seems like the perfect time for me to jump in and finally write about this international phenomenon, the first part in what is called "The Millennium Trilogy," well aware that I am about to engage a fanbase just as vocal and opinionated as that of the "Twilight" books or the "Harry Potter" series.
As societal standards change, art has to respond by updating the archetypes it uses in storytelling, and so we find ourselves now at the dawn of the age of the Autistic Superhero. I'd argue that this particular idea was introduced to the mainstream in "Rain Man," in which Dustin Hoffman played a sort of exaggerated and ultra-capable version of what was then understood to be the "typical" autistic. Now, just over 20 years later, we've got TV shows like "The Big Bang Theory" where an obviously autistic character is carefully never referred to as autistic, and in pop culture the notion of the socially-awkward-but-brilliant specialist in this or that continues to get used and re-used. Now, with Lisbeth Salander, we get one of the most aggressive interpretations of the archetype so far, and the public appears to have fallen head over heels with this teeny-tiny bundle of fury.