Comic books, back in the day, were the dose of tiger balm to the congested chest. They were painful narratives that made us think, that put our problems into the perspectives of a false world so a hero could show us they can be solved and the villains of our lives vanquished. Unfortunately, the solutions are solely on the page or on the screen, now with the Netflix series’ of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage, but does that erase the effect they have on us as viewers and readers?
Do the shows take some issues too far? Present them too blatantly or too straight-forward for escapism?
Are they too real and too relevant? Or exactly what we need?
Something else to consider would be whether or not the intention of comic books is still escapism. As entertainment becomes increasingly politicized, the escapism aspect may sit on a balance with a desire to provide political commentary. If you wanted to do that more broadly, too, you could look at the balance of escapism and commentary in modern comic books or their adaptations (like Daredevil/Jessica Jones/Luke Cage), which I feel like is what you might be trying to do. There's an excellent article about Ta-Nehisi Coates discussing his run of Black Panther which touches on this --> http://kotaku.com/ta-nehisi-coates-is-trying-to-do-right-by-marvel-comics-1769418783 – Sadie Britton4 years ago
I think the subjective nature social consciousness makes this a hard question to answer. Comics have always run the gamut from utterly ridiculous to uncomfortably real but a lot of that is in the personal interpretation. Most comics aren't going to be as clear in their messaging as Captain America punching Hitler in the face. The X-Men arose as an allegory for the Civil Rights movement but not every white comic reader in the 60s was thinking "I see, this is like how we treat black people". However black comic readers may have connected with the story in a different way. Jessica Jones and Luke Cage both seemed overtly political but technically were recreations of plot lines that were decades old. When Brock Turner is making headlines, Jessica's inability to consent holds more weight. When Black Lives Matter plays a large part in the political sphere, a bulletproof black guy (in a hoodie) holds more weight. Your environment and your gender/racial/sexual identity change whether you view it as a nice work of fiction or a very political one. – LC Morisset4 years ago
Is Marvel’s Luke Cage, a superhero of today’s society? In the new Netflix series, Luke Cage is a black, bulletproof man with his only costume being a hoodie and when it is up, it is worn as superman wears his cape in a fight of justice. The significance of the hoodie touched on a real life matter we faced four years ago, in regards to the death of seventeen year old, Trayvon Martin. With all the shootings and killing of black men today, it is important to many that we have a hero that is black. Whether it is real or not doesn’t even matter, it is the point that our youth can watch Luke Cage and see a black hero who actually takes pride in who he is and acknowledges it. I think the series is literally and symbolically trying to make a connection with black people, culture, society, and the issues and injustice certain individuals may face today. Do you think this series succeeds or fails, barely touching the surface in making a connection to society today?
You will have your critics who say that the show is making a statement, which is why the hoodie is his armor; On the other hand, you will have the other side saying the hoodie makes him a stereotypical black man. The real connection lies within how Luke himself is portrayed, when he is not in superhero mode. If he follows the trend of what people think black men are like in the ghetto, then the show is just perpetuating negative stigmas. Now if he takes the hoodie off and is well spoken with a dignified demeanor, then the show is trying to make a statement. – MikeySheff4 years ago