Superheroes, Leadership, And the War on Terror
Redeemer films, that is, films about superheroes and saviors who risk their lives for the sake of a city, a nation, or all of humankind (see Vera and Gordon 34), can easily be read within the context of contemporary terrorism.1 Several films discussed here contain explicit references to the attacks of 9/11 and the war on terror. Others comment on the events in an indirect fashion. But even films that are not concerned with the specifics of Islamist extremism influence our perception of contemporary politics. Superhero films demonstrate effective and inappropriate responses to a crisis. They model leadership styles and visualize the proper relation between the leader and his people and between the individual and his community. Finally, they define notions of sacrifice and service and explore the possibility of agency against a backdrop of fate and determination.2
KeywordsFemale Character Male Dwarf Occupational Loyalty Lethal Force Academy Award
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