Heroes and Villains
Hercules, Jesus, James Bond, Luke Skywalker, Gandalf, Frodo, Harry Potter, Buffy Summers, Spiderman, Batman, Captain Kirk, Dr. Who, Darth Vader, Sauron, Voldemort, Lex Luthor, Dr. Doom, the Daleks, the Borg. Almost anybody living in the developed West would be able to group these individuals into two camps: the heroes and the villains. However, what criteria they may use to do this is less clear.
Mike Alsford introduces us to a range of heroic and villainous archetypes on a journey through film, television, comic books, and literature. On the way, he addresses questions such as: What is a true hero? What is a true villain? Have we misunderstood these terms? What kind of societal values do our mythical heroes and villains represent? In trying to understand the extremes of hero and villain we are made more aware of our own ethical standards and given a space in which to explore contemporary concerns over notions of right and wrong, good and bad.
I thought ' What if he ' s lying ? ' I tried to get rid of it . I tried . But I couldn ' t . I
thought ' What if he survived that blast . . . and was still Kid Marvelman ? ' I tried to
imagine what it would feel like . . . to be the most powerful creature on the face of
Pratchett , T . , The Wee Free Men , Corgi , 2004 , p . 196 . 47 . Alsford , M . , What
If ? Religious Themes in Science Fiction , DLT , 2000 , p . 77f . 48 . Morris , T . and
Morris , M . , Superheroes and Philosophy : Truth Justice and the Socratic Way ...
... contemporary concerns over notions of right and wrong , good and bad . roes
MIKE ALSFORD is Senior Lecturer in Theology at the University of Greenwich ,
London , and the author of What If ? Religious Themes in Science Fiction ( DLT ) .
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Myth and Imagination
Heroes and Otherness
With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
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