Best Paper Ever

So for my American Superhero class we have to write a paper on a Superhero and how they represent the society of the time they were written in (ie Superman and the Atomic Bomb during WWII, The Hulk throwing US tanks just after Vietnam, etc)

This is totally awesome.


As much as I love comics, superheros have never been my thing. So I need help.

This can be in basically any format… movies, comics (if in issue form, I have to stick to between 3 and 10 issues), TV shows, Graphic novels, etc.

So far I’m thinking of the following:

  • The Pro by Ennis. Sure, it’s over the top. But it’s well written, and is certainly social commentary, although looking mostly at sterotypes put forth in comic books.
  • Conner and Murphy in Boondock Saints. They’re vigilanties, they can’t be touched (except by family), and they’re immigrants. This is probably my favorite option thus far.
  • King Mob of the Invisibles. He’s a 21st century superhero, and fresh material to me.

Think you have a better idea? Tell me.

I’m not asking you to write this for me. I’m just asking for suggestions.

I’ll put my geek away now.

22 thoughts on “Best Paper Ever

  1. my dark knight

    Batman has always been my very favorite comic character, mainly because he is more anti-hero than hero. I think he represents the direction that many books and movies are taking now, by making the protaganists real people with issues, not one dimensional and either angelic or totally evil. Batman isn’t nice, he doesn’t help old ladies across the street, he doesn’t smile at strangers… he’s sometimes more out for revenge than justice…. but boy does he kick ass, and come through for people he cares about. Ok, done now, promise. 🙂

  2. I don’t read a ton of comics, and those I tend to read aren’t usually superhero comics… but have you read Watchmen? I really enjoyed it, due to the Cold War themes infusing the narrative….

  3. To expound on ‘s suggestion: Rorschach as representative of Cold War era ultra-conservatism.

    I personally tend to gravitate towards definitively mortal and flawed non-superheroes (Batman, Spider Jerusalem, Rorchach included in that as well); sorry I couldn’t be of much more help.

    • I really wanted to do Spider (heh… do.), but after thinking about it, I didn’t know how I could clearly link it to current times.

    • Watchmen is truely a great comic and if you’ve read it then Rorschach would be perfect. I mean, he’s pretty easy to analyze and they don’t get more flawed then that do they?

  4. Suggestions

    Of your suggestions I like King Mob the best.
    -Watchmen as critique of the Cold War era (also Dr. Manhattan as a symbol of the increased destructive capability of the world at large)

    -Jenny Sparks of the Authority as a symbol of Great Britain and their view of our whole last century

    – Swamp Thing (by Alan Moore) as a look at environmentalism and religion

    – Sandman (Neil Gaiman) can show you modern society’s relationship with it’s mythical past

    – examine The Punisher at any period for a look at society’s lack of faith in it’s leader’s ability to enforce the law and to protect them and their desire to do it themselves

    – early Spider-man is good for a look at the helplessness of youth and the young attempting to be self-empowered

    – and Death: The High Cost of Living for obvious reasons

    • Re: Suggestions

      I really like the idea of Sandman with our link to our mythical past. Hmm…

      And I don’t know anything about Jenny Sparks. Please do tell!

      • Re: Suggestions

        Jenny Sparks leads The Authority, a group of extreme methods heroes. She is the spirit of the age and died at the milennium to be reborn as a baby. She was born on t he first day of 1900 or something (like Elijah Frost from Planetary, a series too good to be described).

        Check out the Authority graphic novels for more info.

  5. The X-Men, and the parallels between the struggles of mutant leaders Professor X and Magneto with the struggles of their real-world counterparts, Martin Luther King and the more militant Malcolm X, or even the Black Panther movement.

    I thought I was pretty darn clever to have picked up on these undercurrent themes at 12 years old, but looking back they’re fairly blunt.

      • I was going to suggest the same thing dollarbeer did… The X-Men are one of the biggest statements of society in comics. Not to mention they touch on a very sensitive subject of racism.

  6. Oh I also think peekaboo’s suggestion of Swamp Thing is a very good suggestion.

    One other perhaps you could perhaps try to tie in would be one of the main characters from Y the Last Man. Yorick, Agent 355, or Dr. Allison Mann could all be looked at. None of them would be a traditional “hero” perhaps, but the comic has a very feminist context about how far equality has come… and how far there is still to go.

  7. In totally unrelated news….

    SORRY!!!! I just now found out that you tried to get ahold of me last sunday. Sometimes the mail runs alittle slow…..anyway, where are you? Are you in town, or bloomington. I get confused cause you seem to come to town quite frequently, let me know whats going on……You can email me at =)


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