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The Hero Gotham (The World) Wants: The Rise of Antiheroes in Today's Media

With the upcoming Marvel and DC films Suicide Squad, Deadpool, Batman vs. Super Man, and even Captain America: Civil War there seems to be a growing prevalence in the popular portrayal of the "Antihero." That is, a hero with next-level superhuman abilities that achieves peace and justice through rather morally ambiguous and convoluted avenues.
Starting with The Dark Knight Trilogy, we begin to see major progressions from the normal ol’ crime-fighting, always-right-and-fair batman to a much more complex, dark, and cynical character than previously represented in the superhero genre. Bleeding into the Iron Man trilogy you again see a rather morally ambiguous character doling out justice, and monopolizing fan and marketing favoritism over any other character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now with the tremendous outpouring of "versus" movies and appeals to anti-heroic characters, the question of "Why?" must be asked.

Do we, the fans, love moral ambiguity presented through these characters more than the straight-laced justice previously advertised? And if so, why do we love it so much? Do morally ambiguous characters seem more real and genuine to us as a society today? And if so, what are these "truths" these characters are telling that we so crave to hear?

The intention is to fully and chronologically analyze the progession of the "Antihero" starting with the Dark Knight Trilogy and leading up the phenomenon of the emergence of Antiheroes in today’s mass media and what this says about our society.

  • This can be a really interesting article! I don't think this is new though, as these characters seen in comic books were written as very complex "heroes" with conflicting morals. However, this idea of 'breaking the rules to get the job done' is new to the big screen, and is becoming more prevalent in these big budget superhero films-- I think that's why Guardians of the Galaxy was such a success. (You should definitely include that movie in your article) But mainly what I'm trying to say is that maybe discuss why film production companies decided now to get deep and complex with the characters in these super hero films, and starting off so shallow in the past when superhero movies were so new and not yet so mainstream. :) :) – madistyle94 5 years ago
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  • I think that a lot of people enjoy the idea of two heroes fighting each other because it promises an exciting battle! On the real, I think that people appreciate moral ambiguity because it makes the heroes more realistic, but there can also be a downside to that too, making it seem like immoral conduct is something "okay" because "even heroes slip up". That's true, of course; good people, even heroic ones, make mistakes all the time. But the idea that making immoral choices and offering the notion that "it's okay" is a lie. Just some food for thought. This should make a great article! Thanks for the topic! – Dominic Sceski 5 years ago
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  • I think is a very interesting topic that you can run with and greatly expand. From Batman V Superman to Captain America: Civil War, where Cap and Tony are at odds with each other, there is a high appreciation for superheroes that are at odds. There is a huge debate on which superhero is cooler, Batman or Superman? Usually the reason that people do not choose Superman, is because, he's is too perfect and is invincible, while, the reason people choose Batman, is because he's conflicted and is so human, that they relate to him. As people, we tend to gravitate towards characters that are like us, complex and human. So, it is not a huge surprise when audience root for the antihero. – ADenkyirah 5 years ago
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