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.
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While trying to introduce the subject of otherness or power , for example , is a
sure fire way of getting one crossed off party lists and ignored in pubs , talking
about the latest Spiderman or X - Men film or the merits of Buffy the Vampire
15 In many respects the ingredients that made Spiderman such a popular figure
particularly during the 1960s and 1970s – his apparently weak alter ego , his
alienation from the ' in crowd ' , his sense of responsibility to those around him
Cf . The Amazing Spiderman 4 and 5 , Marvel Comics , 1963 , for an early
example of this but similarly the more ... This aspect of Spiderman ' s often
tortured career can be seen from page one of his very first appearance in
Amazing Fantasy ...
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Myth and Imagination
Heroes and Otherness
With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
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