The function of a hero is inspiration which encourages people to be better and work harder. As described by Abrams, since the beginning of storytelling tales of gods and heroes described mankind’s desires, fears and ideas of an ideal future. Every culture has a different symbol and representation that tries to construct the perfect specimen of human power. In America this desire is described in comic books, the construction of Batman is a prime example. Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s Batman Year One and Batman: Court of the Owl by Scott Snyder discuss the altering battles faced by Batman and illustrate an almost flawless transition of how the characters progress throughout the years. The evolution of modern vigilantism from when comics were first introduced during the Great Depression to current times define their ability to adapt to the ever changing periods faced by society that allows for superheroes to remain relevant. The rise of modern superheroes was when America was facing the threat of a war in Europe and dealing with corruption within its own communities. The heroes depicted in comics allowed for people to escape reality during the Great Depression, states Hyde. It gave a sense of false perception to readers that allowed them to hope and ignited a desire to form a superhero as a reaction to the economical hardships as well as domestic crimes. Commissioner James Gordon plays an important role in Batman: Year One, an old version in the Batman series, because he is suspicious of Batman’s vigilante tactics but realizes that he is necessary and a strong ally in order to serve justice. Gordon is first introduced as Police Lieutenant James Gordon who begins working for the Gotham City Police Department after being transferred from Chicago under Commissioner Gillian B. Loeb and Detective Arnold John Flass. Upon arrival Gordon struggles to deal with corrupt officers, who beat up whomever they please. Feeling Gordon’s hesitancy and unease, Flass and several other officers decide to give him a beating. Gordon confronts Flass and gives him a baseball bat to defend himself then begins to pummel him as revenge. This describes the deviant behaviors of authoritative figures that choose to abuse their powers, leading the population to believe that the police force isn’t reliable. Thus proving the assumption that superheroes, Batman in this case, were made to understand the chaos people face in reality of modern day times. The physiological mindset of both heroes and villains takes a more realistic turn that separates itself from mythological and fairytale references. Modern comic book superheroes tend to follow the same general pattern in which the hero is estranged or secluded from society. Batman, for example, is a damaged character who witnesses his parents being gunned down which results in him swearing that he would rid Gotham City of evil. Although mythology provides an example of a true hero their villains change over time. Myths no longer deal with legends from the bible about the devil or beast and serpents described by the Greeks, the new complexity of the villains is by far more intriguing. Abrams explains how Americans have become fascinated with gangsters and the criminal cultural that surrounds their nature, representing realistic and current dangers of this new era. In Batman: Court of the Owl, which is a new version in the Batman series, the villain is William Cobb who is a Talon, meaning a skilled assassin for the Court of Owls. He boasts having killed several members of the Wayne family. He later attacks his great-grandson, Dick Grayson, because he feels betrayed by him choosing to become a vigilante instead of a Talon like himself. These serial killer tendencies and disgust expressed towards his own blood describe the unstable mental state of murderers throughout time. The creation of a hero without power or superhuman characteristics like Batman made him more relatable during a time period in which...
Cited: • Abrams, Joshua, "Vigilante Patriotism: An Exploration of the Modern American Comic Book" (2012). Senior Projects Spring 2012. Paper 10. Web. .
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