“Holy Bill of Rights, Batman!”: – Batman and the Rule of Law

Activity: Talk or presentation typesLecture and oral contribution

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Carsten Fogh Nielsen - Lecturer

  • Department of Philosophy
In a recent talk the famous Batman writer and artist Frank Miller, who in his 1986 masterpiece The Dark Knight Returns reinvented the Batman figure as a brutal, almost fascist vigilante , revealed that his next graphic novel is going to be about Batman fighting Al-Qaeda! As Miller himself puts it, the novel – which will be entitled “Holy Terror Batman” – “… is, not to put too fine a point on it, a piece of propaganda - Batman kicks al-Qa'eda's ass. It just seems silly to chase around the Riddler when you've got al-Qa'eda out there”. And as Miller also points out, there is nothing new in this: American superheroes have always been used for this purpose. During WWII most superheroes were enlisted in the fight against Nazi-Germany and Japan. “Superman punched out Hitler. So did Captain America. That's one of the things they're there for." The superhero, we shall argue, plays an important role in the American self-understanding, and, as the above example illustrates, the superhero both can be and has been used to support concrete political causes. Because of this political importance we believe that a closer analysis of the superhero mythos may have a critical potential in disclosing the hidden assumptions in many contemporary political debates. In this paper we present such an analysis, with particular attention to the implicit philosophy of law expressed in the 1966-movie Batman – the Movie.
Emneord: Critique, popular culture
3 Mar 2006

Event (Conference)

TitleFilosofien og videnssamfundet


  • Critique, popular culture

ID: 985175