Superheroes, would they work in our society? Watchmen and Kick-Ass

Watchmen      KickAss2

Watchmen and Kick-Ass show different ideas of how superheroes would work in society. For one they show two different aspects of what having Superheroes in the real world would be like, the hardships of those heroes, and society’s reaction to heroes.

In both of these comics these heroes team up and try to fight crime in the city that they live in. They dress in the crazy costumes and workout to keep themselves fit to fight crime. They try and keep their secret identities. In Watchmen they take their Superhero identity as their job, for the most part. They are even accepted by the government as another line of defense. Kick-Ass, however, shows a different side. Their Superhero identity is a side job to their real lives. In both comics they are famous to the public. In Kick-Ass the public has accepted the heroes and see them as celebrities. Watchmen sees the heroes as comic books coming to reality. They are amazed by them and want to use them for everything such as commercials and defense for their businesses.

The question is though; would these superheroes work in our society? Would superheroes be similar to what these comics show?



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  2 comments for “Superheroes, would they work in our society? Watchmen and Kick-Ass

  1. Anthony Seippel
    March 15, 2013 at 12:39 am

    To begin with I would like to note that the new trailer for Kick-Ass 2 was recently released and depicts a very Watchmen like event of a call for an end to masked crime fighters, so it is interesting that you have compared those two. That being said, I think that if superheros were to ever exist in the real world, it would definitely be in the form depicted in Kick-Ass as I doubt they would be accepted and paid to do it the way the original Minute Men were in Watchmen. Also, considering those fighters started as cops, who themselves hold their position to be of great authority and respect (even if few others feel the same) would not like degrade themselves to costumed crime fighting. As I said, if it did come about, it would be very much like the Kick-Ass version in which sometime picks it up as a serious hobby, gets their ass beat by real criminals and, if they survive, learn and move on. But even Kick-Ass had the sensibility to not take itself too seriously, despite the fact that it was considering someone taking the idea of superheros seriously what with Hit Girls over the top attitude, jet packs, and oddly timed RPG explosions (No that’s not how they work, if he did that in real life all of them would be dead). Not to mention the jetpacks, lack of police involvement to the various fights and gunfire and burning buildings, and consideration of Timberlands as a comfortable shoe that one could use while fighting crime. If anyone ever tried it, they would be written off as insane, even if they were lucky enough to succeed at any sort of crime fighting. Not unlike Batman who everyone still calls a freak under their breath, even as he brings the Joker in to Arkham. Even still, this would likely only work if they went Punisher style and just strait up slaughtered everyone because I doubt I’ll see any large blue ominously named naked men in my lifetime to do the dirty work. Quite simply, we don’t have room in our society to accept people who try this. We too quickly write them off as freaks and wackos. And a bullet is much more effective in the real world than it is in a comic, so even if someone did try going to war with an entire mafia gang with a pair of nightsticks or a grapple gun and their bare hands, they probably wouldn’t last that long. To be honest, the most likely and realistic scene of the Kick-Ass movie was when Kick-Ass and Big Daddy were being tortured… you know, just before the 12 year old in a purple skirt and raccoon eye mask came in and murdered everyone. Besides. There are people out there who try it. There have been documentaries on the discovery channel about them. In reality, it’s just some random average Joe in a leather biker jacket and eye liner walking around NY’s Central Park telling the obviously strung out junkies waiting to buy some drugs to go home or he’ll call the cops on them.

    Follow the link for a shot of the do-gooder:

  2. Andre Keng Sanixay
    March 15, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Well, to know if superheroes can fit well into society, it depends on what kind of society it is. Captain America, for instance, goes well in America, but not in North Korea, where he might not be taken seriously. Generally a superhero is a vigilante, and most vigilantes in the real world use extreme violence, lacking some of the moral codes comic book vigilantes like Batman possesses. Real life superheroes could even question the competence of law enforcement. Still, the type of society a superhero protects determines if that said society thinks about him or her. Gotham City is known for its police corruption, and the citizens of Gotham turn to Batman when they feel like they can’t trust the police. A society of corrupt criminals would most likely attack a superhero. Some societies can accept superheroes easily because they view that said hero as a concerned citizen, someone that they can relate to. Bottom line, whether or not a superhero is accepted by society depends on what kind of society they are protecting.

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