The American way of life is a lifestyle that has spread to a greater or greater extent throughout the West, including mainstream superhero comics such as DC or Marvel.
In the vision of American comics, a better world It’s that one inspired by western valueswhere the democracy and los human rights. In the comic book narrative, society by itself is incapable of adjusting or restoring the social order.
And hero o one supergroupes necessary to achieve a new societyoperating outside the spectrum of justice for the greater good, essentially presenting the mythological version of American individualism.
Los comics can look like ideological tools similar to literature, poetry, myths or legend, filled with constructs from an idealized past and offering ideas about society, identity and belonging.
American way of life en mainstream
He american spirit It is usually evoked by superheroes in general both for the marvel characters as for those of DCnot only the Captain America o Supermanbut also by those who have to protect American citizens from foreign attacks.
In a parallels with the 2003 invasion of Iraqyou can place the scene of Secret War in which Nick Fury has to stop a latverian attack against New York, evacuating people and moving the fight outside the city, where the villain Lucia Von Bardas expresses that he launched the attack to pay for his expulsion from Latveria by the troops of SHIELD.
He patriotism and the nationalism They usually converge on one vision of the America of the past. Rural America and small towns such as the fictional Smallville, where there are peace and social cohesion.
In Wolverine’s story “La hermandad” -The brotherhood-, that America is also represented, pointing out that his motorcycle is good, for being american. Also that small and rural cities like the one in which it is located are safe and there is no fear in them, that is why the crime committed by the brotherhood, murdering a young woman who was kidnapped like other women and abused, cannot be allowed.
another reflection of that deep americawhere the “real” Americans live and the rednecks is seen at the stage of Mark Waid y Chris Samnee of the Captain Americaespecially in the story arc El hogar de los valientes, published by Panini Cómics, where the staples 695 to 704 americans.
In this case the Steve Rogers puts on the suit again Captain America and he makes a route through the interior of the country, to raise his deteriorated image after the events of Secret Empire, showing his values as a true American and protector of the people and democracy.
The moral panic represented in the cartoons
Comics often depict stories of moral panicwhere they represent a decline or lack of family, democracy and freedom. the old order depicted as white, middle-class communities with strong family values, social capital, and equality; in contrast to evil that represents violence and crime, that annihilates that way of life.
The police forces and the administration of justice are represented as inefficient and corruptneeding a Super Herothat can protect citizens, defeat evil and restore order and social values.
Batman: Cataclysm, by ECC
In the story arc of Batman “Cataclysm”collected by ECC Comics, Gotham City is devastated by a great earthquake, which takes the city back to past times. Batman has to act as a restorer of a city submerged in chaos, beginning to restore social order with the help of his allies, negotiating with gang leaders and organized crime.
Batman always trusts Gotham and his courage to save it in order to improve it. A parallelism in real life occurred with the Hurricane Katrinawhich devastated the city of New Orleans, in Louisiana. In this case the salvation and recovery of the entire city was not seen as a priority or worthwhile.
In the media and in political elites it was discussed whether it was worth retaking the city or, directly, eliminate parts of it and create new ones. “Destroying the village to save it” it was one US line of action. during the vietnam warestablishing the idea that destruction was the only way for their salvation, creating a new one.
In conclusion, through the comics of the big publishers, with characters from DC as famous as Batman y Supermanor characters from Marvel As the Captain America and Wolverine, among many others, the values of the North American way of life are extended to the rest of the world through cartoons.
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