Superman Hero

Decent Essays

Thomas Dixon Jr’s The Clansman: An Historical Romance of the Ku Klux Klan is a novel explores the Klansmen’s use of disguise by suggesting that it is utilized to enact vigilante justice on behalf of the victimized white people of the south. Chris Galaver’s “The Ku Klux Klan and the Birth of the Superhero” is an article that argues the modern superhero figure finds its roots in Dixon’s novel, however one can argue that the modern superhero is the very opposite of Dixon’s vigilante. It is important to note that Superman inverts the use of the mask, which Galaver argues is a key trait of the Klan in their pursuit of vigilante justice. The debut of Superman occurs four months after the Anschluss suggesting that a connection can be made between …show more content…

Because Superman is defending the innocent from their fellow men who are seeking justice on their own terms, he becomes a “[vigilante] who [battles], among other evils, vigilantism” (Galaver 199-200). Superman becomes a contradiction to himself because he is fighting against that which he has become. However Superman is offered some latitude within his contradiction because he is an alien with superhuman powers that he uses to protect the residents of earth. His enhancement makes it more difficult to find hypocrisy while confronting other vigilantes. Superman’s role as a vigilante fighting vigilantism suggests that a paradox is necessary to prevent men and women from taking the law into their own hands and his role also argues that regular men are not qualified to enact their own justice thus fighting back against the Klan origin that Galaver argues is Superman’s foundation. Superman’s powers give him a subtle qualification, which legitimizes his role as a crime fighter and continues to support the argument that Superman is not related to …show more content…

The mask is an important tool for the vigilante but Superman does not hide his face while pursuing justice. Superman also has ties to the Jewish community, which makes his connection to Dixon’s Klan vigilante even less likely. Superman’s superpowers also make it difficult to label him as a vigilante because they give him more credit as a crime fighting character. Finally Superman shares as stronger connection to detective fiction than he does to Dixon’s vigilante novel. All of these points support the argument that modern superheroes such as Superman are not modeled after Dixon’s Klan inspired

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