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Weston, Gavin: "Superheroes and comic-book vigilantes versus real-life vigilantes. An anthropological answer to the Kick-Ass paradox." In: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics 4.2 (2013), S. 223–234.
|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Weston2013
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Keywords: "Kick-Ass", Anthropologie, Großbritannien, Millar. Mark, Romita Jr. John, Superheld, USA, Wirkung
Collection: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics
This article explores comic-book superheroes and vigilantes through an anthropological lens to tackle the paradox offered by Mark Millar’s Kick-Ass: why have comic books not inspired more real-life vigilantism? Applying social science literature on vigilantism, social banditry and death squads to fictional characters and contexts, this article explores the gaps between vigilante fact and vigilante fiction. It takes as its starting point Ray Abrahams’ observation that three factors lend themselves to the emergence of vigilantism: dissatisfaction with justice, awareness of other vigilantes and a pre-existing social or cultural template. Given the prevalence of comic-book superheroes and vigilantes as cultural template, this paper reappraises the limits of Abrahams’ model and reflects on the ambiguities of vigilante fact and fiction.
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