Batman v2 Annual 04 (2015) by James Thynion IV

By James Thynion IV

Batman is gone…but Bruce Wayne is alive? What does that suggest for Gotham urban? And who's Bruce Wayne with no Batman? This exact annual delves deeper into the secret construction, and even if Bruce can ever quite break out from the shadow of the darkish Knight.

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Who Can Watch the Watchmen? The lesson of Watchmen and the generation of graphic novels it inspired is that as long as superheroes remain in fantastic realms, they are not problematic. indd 44 12/3/08 8:05:57 PM S U P E R -V I G I L A N T E S A N D T H E K E E N E ACT 45 reality, once we imagine what the world would be like if they were among us, superheroes stop being such a comfortable concept. The question is not who watches the Watchmen, but who has the ability to watch the Watchmen? The superhero’s violence will never be legitimate if he or she acts outside or against the Weberian state, but could the superhero truly be bound to the state?

As Marvels and Watchmen make clear, the presence of superheroes who constitute an Other to us, almost unrecognizable as humans, should make humans more insecure. Superman: Red Son shows how moral superheroes in nondemocratic contexts, in the absence of checks and balances, could similarly tend toward utopia-making activities that have inevitably dystopian results. Ironically, Watchmen demonstrates the illegitimacy of immoral and amoral superheroes in a desperate but still democratic United States.

At the same time, the dialogue between the naive, black-and-white morality held by characters such as the first Nite Owl and the cynical nihilism of characters like the Comedian informs much of the subtext of Watchmen. What’s So Über about the Übermensch? So we have our first sketch of what it means to be an Übermensch: to be able to look unflinchingly into the abyss of meaningless. indd 49 12/3/08 8:06:14 PM 50 J. KEEPING that, really? Some of us close our eyes and ears to anything that challenges our beliefs.

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