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Weston, Gavin. "Superheroes and comic-book vigilantes versus real-life vigilantes: An anthropological answer to the kick-ass paradox." Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics 4. (2013): 223–34. 
Added by: joachim (8/14/13, 9:41 AM)   Last edited by: joachim (8/22/15, 7:13 AM)
Resource type: Journal Article
Language: en: English
Peer reviewed
DOI: 10.1080/21504857.2012.682624
BibTeX citation key: Weston2013
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Categories: General
Keywords: "Kick-Ass", Anthropology, Media effects, Millar. Mark, Romita Jr. John, Superhero, United Kingdom, USA
Creators: Weston
Collection: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics
Views: 27/639
This article explores comic-book superheroes and vigilantes through an anthropological lens to tackle the paradox offered by Mark Millar’s Kick-Ass: why have comic books not inspired more real-life vigilantism? Applying social science literature on vigilantism, social banditry and death squads to fictional characters and contexts, this article explores the gaps between vigilante fact and vigilante fiction. It takes as its starting point Ray Abrahams’ observation that three factors lend themselves to the emergence of vigilantism: dissatisfaction with justice, awareness of other vigilantes and a pre-existing social or cultural template. Given the prevalence of comic-book superheroes and vigilantes as cultural template, this paper reappraises the limits of Abrahams’ model and reflects on the ambiguities of vigilante fact and fiction.
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