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The hero we need, not the one we deserve: vigilantism and the state of exception in Batman Incorporated

Chapter


Abstract


  • Scholarly research into superhero comic narratives has arguably been neglected, particularly in regard to the latter's use as a lens for social commentary.' Accordingly, my interest in writing this chapter in the broadest sense is to enter into a dialogue with others, and provide space in which one can reflect on the value of the superhero comic book as a scholarly resource. Comic book narratives, I believe, off er rich ground for examining the interrelationship between real and fictional worlds, with Batman in particular examining the notions of vigilantism, ethics, and justice. I frame this conversation through discourse with Giorgio Agamben's conceptualisation of the 'state of exception'2 and an analysis of the Batman Incorporated comic book written by Scottish author Grant Morrison and published by DC Comics in three volumes.3 This analysis not only highlights intersections between graphic literature and the law, but also examines the inherent dangers present in utilising an exceptional state of security contemporaneously. In Morrison's work, Batman presents a more grounded, realistic character in comparison to his supernatural and extra-terrestrial contemporaries, and the Incorporated narrative is particularly useful as an analytical lens for ideas regarding the state of exception. This is due to the narrative's recent publication and representation of the post-9/u United States - and, by extension, its links to the state of exception - through a fictional mode.

Publication Date


  • 2015

Citation


  • Comerford, C. "The hero we need, not the one we deserve: vigilantism and the state of exception in Batman Incorporated." Graphic Justice Intersections of Comics and Law. Ed.T. Giddens. New York: Routledge, 2015, 184-200.

International Standard Book Number (isbn) 13


  • 9781138787995

Book Title


  • Graphic Justice Intersections of Comics and Law

Start Page


  • 184

End Page


  • 200

Place Of Publication


  • New York

Abstract


  • Scholarly research into superhero comic narratives has arguably been neglected, particularly in regard to the latter's use as a lens for social commentary.' Accordingly, my interest in writing this chapter in the broadest sense is to enter into a dialogue with others, and provide space in which one can reflect on the value of the superhero comic book as a scholarly resource. Comic book narratives, I believe, off er rich ground for examining the interrelationship between real and fictional worlds, with Batman in particular examining the notions of vigilantism, ethics, and justice. I frame this conversation through discourse with Giorgio Agamben's conceptualisation of the 'state of exception'2 and an analysis of the Batman Incorporated comic book written by Scottish author Grant Morrison and published by DC Comics in three volumes.3 This analysis not only highlights intersections between graphic literature and the law, but also examines the inherent dangers present in utilising an exceptional state of security contemporaneously. In Morrison's work, Batman presents a more grounded, realistic character in comparison to his supernatural and extra-terrestrial contemporaries, and the Incorporated narrative is particularly useful as an analytical lens for ideas regarding the state of exception. This is due to the narrative's recent publication and representation of the post-9/u United States - and, by extension, its links to the state of exception - through a fictional mode.

Publication Date


  • 2015

Citation


  • Comerford, C. "The hero we need, not the one we deserve: vigilantism and the state of exception in Batman Incorporated." Graphic Justice Intersections of Comics and Law. Ed.T. Giddens. New York: Routledge, 2015, 184-200.

International Standard Book Number (isbn) 13


  • 9781138787995

Book Title


  • Graphic Justice Intersections of Comics and Law

Start Page


  • 184

End Page


  • 200

Place Of Publication


  • New York