For my final project, I would like to continue focusing of the relationship between Marcuse’s One Dimensional Man and superheroes. Essentially, I would like to focus on how superheroes (specifically Batman and Superman) are held up as heroes within our literary tradition but, in reality, serve as agents of a corrupt, failing system. This is where Marcuse comes in. I will discuss the aspects of the society which Marcuse criticizes and how some of our better known comic book icons bolster them. After that, I will focus on specific villains and anti-heroes from our comic book tradition (The Joker from The Dark Knight and the Watchmen, respectively) and discuss how they are true agents of justice, using Marcuse’s philosophy as background. I have done similar work to this before in class but will look to expand my focus from simply certain characters as disruptive figures that question society’s morals (though that will still be a significant aspect of the project). In this project, I will look to include Marcuse’s ideas of governing bodies controlling the technology of a society for their own ends and the “happy consciousness.”
As I have thought more and more about this project, I have decided that a powerpoint would be the most effective way to execute it. I would not arrange it as a simple presentation but would have slides introducing extended comic panels or video clips, followed but several written slides discussing their significance. This way, I could segment the project, separating Marcuse’s ideas into their own separate sections and give the visual aids a prominent place while minimizing technical difficulties. I want the project to be somewhat interactive and feel that this idea is a good way to accomplish that.
- Watchmen by Alan Moore
- The Dark Knight
- The Dark Knight Rises
- One Dimensional Man by Herbert Marcuse
- Various Superman and Avengers Comics as yet not decided upon