Sep 15, 2012

American Heroes after September 11

I'm reading Kichiro Yanashita's "User's Guide to Pandemonium (新世紀読書大全)". Kichiro Yanashita (柳下毅一郎) is a critic and a translator,and he specializes in so-called subculture, which is called "サブカル (sabukaru)" in Japan. This book consists of all of his book reviews written from 1990 to 2010.

He wrote about American comics in the 1990s and after September 11.

I read American comics most eagerly in the 90s, when the world of American comics was changing dynamically because of the American comic revolution led by Frank Miller and Alan Moore. I had the momentum to read every area of American comics, from leaf to graphic novels.. I read the best works of American comics, for example "The Dark Knight Returns", "Watchmen", and "The Sandman", and I felt certain that American comics were on the cutting edge.
September 11 attacks and "patriotic fervor" had great influence on American comics. Hero comics lost their power (there were no meaning of heroes like Dr. Doom who collapsed into tears on terrorists' attack and Spiderman who said "The real heroes are firefighters died in the twin tower."), and comics on newspapers were choked by patriotism.

Ironically, American comics in the 1990s influenced Hollywood in the 2000s. Many hero movies were made, and some of these could be called masterpieces. I really love the movie "The Dark Knight", which was based on the comic "The Dark Knight Returns". I wrote an entry about "The Dark Knight" on my weblog.

In American comics in the 1990s and in hero movies in the 2000s justice and evil became relative with each other and heroes lost their identities. I feel it natural that justice and evil are relative, so I can accept this sense of values and I love these comics and movies. I also wrote another entry about American comics.

I am interested in the raison d'etre of heroes.If there were no evil in this world, we wouldn't need any heroes. Batman's raison d'etre is Joker. If Joker is gone, Batman also should be gone. Joker will never kill Batman and Batman will never kill Joker. Justice and evil are two sides of the same coin.

This is the truth about justice and evil in the world after September 11, isn't it?

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