For centuries, man has struggled with the concepts of good and evil and have produced astounding works as a reflection of it. This is ideally the foundation of early fables and folklore dating back to ancient civilizations. Stories about famed heroes and the battle of good and evil woven into extravagant tales of danger, destiny, and triumph. These stories were often assimilated into individual societies, told from generation to generation until eventually finding themselves becoming an integral part of the culture. In 1938, a new era began to emerge known as the “golden age” of superheroes. Superman made his first appearance in action comics, forging a unique identity as the first comic book superhero in American culture and quickly
Batman, Superman, and Catwoman are all examples of a vigilante, any person who takes the law into his or her own hands, as by avenging a crime. We have come to love and grow close to the idea of superheroes saving the day, but whether or not they’re doings are good, many debate. When there is a government that fails to fulfill its responsibility to its citizens, waves of rebellion from the people longing for a higher more just power are created. Vigilantism is justified when the government has failed to fulfill their duties in protecting their citizens.
In the essay, “Secret Skin: An Essay in Unitard Theory”, American novelist, Michael Chabon, disputes that superheroes utilize their costumes in hopes of ‘concealing’ background knowledge of: who they are, how they obtain their abilities or why they adopted their alter ego (Chabon par. 28). Chabon develops his claim by arguing that people transform instead of escaping reality. Chabon believes that costumes can make a person develop into a stronger, more esteemed version of themselves. His purpose is to emphasize costumes do not keep identities anonymous but are used to display a physical representation of a person’s inner being.
The artistic representation of the Batman myth is an important cultural artifact of our time because it represents modern society's thirst for heroic ideals in popular entertainment. Since his creation, readers and viewers have admired Batman's unique ability to battle villainy, transcend the law and administer justice. As cultivators of the noir genre in film as well as in literature, Americans have always identified with this enigmatic hero, who exists on the margins of society and yet represents one of the largest corporations in the world. The evolution of Batman in particular and the superhero genre in general (from comic book to television to film and back again) has seen in the latest adaptation from Christopher Nolan's Batman revamp a veritable tilting point for the character once known as the World's Greatest Detective. This paper will analyze why Batman is an important cultural artifact of our day, how he came into being, what he means for society, and how he will be treated in the future.
Superheroes can be defined in many ways by many experts. Clare Pitkethly’s academic background consists of comparative literature, culture and communication as she also speaks and writes comic books and superhero, defines a superhero to be different. In Pitkethly’s article “Straddling a Boundary: The Superhero and the Incorporation of Difference,” talks about
Comic books have picked up popularity as a method for scholars to gain insight as to how society confronts problems. The purpose of my research is to investigate the masculinity of the vigilante and how it hinges on their use of violence and sexuality. The three heroes I will analyze Dr. Manhattan, Rorschach, and Nite Owl. Each portrays their masculinity through sexuality and violence differently. To accurately understand the concepts aforementioned, it is imperative the reader look to the gutter of the comic. The gutter as defined by Scott McCloud is when the “Human imagination takes two separate images and transforms them into a single idea” (McCloud 66). In his chapter “blood in the gutter” McCloud explains, violence often happens inside the gutter to protect reader’s sensibility. However, violence is not the only thing that happens in the gutter, anything deemed perhaps too risqué also happens in the gutter. Therefore, much of the character’s sexuality will also take place in the gutter. Readers must use their imagination to create closure from the gaps that the gutter leaves. When the gutter is taken into consideration most of what defines a hero’s masculinity takes place there.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a superhero as, “a fictional character who has amazing powers (such as the ability to fly)” or “a very heroic person”; yet, many of the characters in Watchmen have no supernatural power and are immoral by most precedent societal standards. Alan Moore, in the graphic novel Watchmen (1986-1987), asserts Rorschach as an example of deontology. Moore supports his thoughts through dialogue and illustration. The author’s purpose is to juxtapose philosophical beliefs by comparing their varied flaws through differing narrators’ points of view. The author takes a condescending tone in an effort to enrage his target audience of adult males. This paper seeks to illustrate, qualify, and challenge Moore’s claim that Rorschach is a deontologist.
"Of all the comics I used to read, nobody looked like me or anybody in my family or my neighborhood. It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I realized that was a harsh thing to live with." (Ivan Velez)." I have also never seen a graphic novel character that looked like anyone in the real world or acted like anyone in the real world. Nobody lives in a cave if they have money, there are no aliens on earth, and there aren't any kind of spiders that give people super powers. When we are young, we are always told that anything is possible if you try your hardest, but what if someone wants to start fighting crime like comic book superheroes, or wants to swing from spider webs around a city. Kids need comics that they can relate to, something that will inspire them to do their best to become like the character in the book. Why can't we have a Martin Luther King comic book. That would teach children to fight for their rights, and children who want to fight for their freedom will be inspired from that comic book. They won't be inspired to fight for their freedom after reading a superman comic. Superman doesn’t have to face any issues because he is born with powers. That does not encourage anyone to be the best person they could be. Instead, it will make kids feel helpless. They will be thinking that they can't do things that Superman could do because they
Subsequently, while most superhero plots involve an element of fantasy, the characters in Moore’s graphic novel are, for the most part, embedded into pessimistic version of reality with only lifelike traits. Obviously, the one glaring exception in Watchmen is Doctor Manhattan, who is transformed into a being capable of a number of otherworldly abilities. However, the other five heroes in the story are regular humans who take the initiative to aid in the protection of society. This is unlike most superheroes in previous comics, who are often blessed with a divine power that allows them to conquer all evil. Additionally, referring to the society in which Moore’s heroes are immersed in, it is situated in a location known to its readers, with a certain twist. While Superman has his Metropolis and Batman has his Gotham City, the six costumed adventurers are based in New York City, or more accurately, a filthy parody of it. The universe in which Moore sets his story is the closest to reality, with a hyperbolic emphasis on the evil in society, in which superheroes have been set it. Hence, the problems presented to the superheroes are not something to be combatted with fantastical talents, but more nuanced with realistic obstacles without a clear solution. In Watchmen, the imminent threat of nuclear war is a state of affairs that would have been realistic for readers, particularly during the time period of the graphic novel’s release in 1987. This, coupled with the urban violence
The physicality and violence of the hypermasculine hero is emphasized in the character of Edward Blake, the costumed crime fighter known as The Comedian, but this emphasis serves not to glorify him but to expose our acceptance of vigilante violence, especially when abstracted from morality. Many superheroes
Now in these days everyone one likes to read comic books since they became part of our society. What makes them interesting is how entertaining they could get giving us different points of views on different stories of superheroes. Many of us believe that “Classic superheroes stories are wildly fun, suspenseful and exciting” (Tom and Matt Morris) forgetting the idea of what really makes a hero. Different perceptions of superheroes are considered based on their wrong actions and way of thinking. Frank’s Miller Batman: The Dark Knight Returns is one of the comic books that make us “rethink the conception of the superhero and press each of us to reconsider some of the fundamental moral principles
In Houston, Texas there was a kid named John, but by weeks passed his name eventually became was Superman. He got this name by wanted to save a lot of people in danger. It first started when he saw a lot of people being in danger, so he wanted to make a change and help people. He started doing that but after a while he couldn’t help everybody so he started to get worried and wanted to stop. But he didn’t stop and he got better at it, then not that much longer he was helping everybody and the city was a safer place.
In this paper I argue that Alan Moore's Watchmen uses its dystopia to critique the selfish nature of humanity that abandons morals to achieve one’s goals and a society that trusts superheroes without legal and moral authority to oversee their power. By depicting each superhero’s violent actions and their moral decisions, it criticizes the consequentialist’s argument that “the end justifies the means” . Watchmen features superheroes that are normal humans who don’t possess super powers except Dr. Manhattan and struggling for their moral standings from their past. After Adrian Veidt destroys the half of New York, he asks, “I did the right thing, didn't I?”. Although other characters do not directly ask, we can see that they all ask the question
This paper involves discovering how the morality of Batman and Superman has, or has not, changed throughout the happenings in The Dark Knight Returns compared to their previous depictions. The goal of this paper is to show that the morality of Batman and Superman have altered due to the extension of their personalities. The paper is claiming that Batman and Superman act as extensions of their formerly depicted selves by overindulging in their personal beliefs and ideologies as each of them struggle to with their morality by trying to do the “right” thing in a world gone wrong. This claim was created by examining and analyzing the primary text of The Dark Knight Rises by Frank Miller and by using various credible online sources and interpretations of the graphic novel. Upon examination of the sources used, morality plays a key role in the character development of two main characters of Batman and Superman. Through showing that the extension of personality has an impact on the perception of a character, this paper and research highlight the differences and similarities of Batman and Superman in terms of morality and character development.
Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen illustrates the lives of retired superheroes in the 1980s. The Keene Act outlawed the “masquerading” of superheroes in the 1970s and led to the dissolution of many superheroes. The murder of an old colleague, The Comedian, forces them to come out of retirement and sets the events of the graphic novel into place. Moore and Gibbons sets up a world of superheroes in the midst of a very real historical period of the Cold War. We usually think of superheroes as existing in a fictional place, with an altered history. However, the novel references President Nixon, the Cold War, Vietnam, and other real events and figures. These references help to establish the superheroes as people existing in reality. Here,