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Sine 1 Sine, Michael College Writing II Dr.

Dietrich 09 December 2011 The Argument for the Anti-Hero Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is also true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on (Kennedy 47). Robert F. Kennedy's words couldn't resonate any louder if they tried in the context of criminals and society, especially in the case of a city like Gotham. Gotham is the fictional city that exists in the world of Batman, which eerily has similarities to New York City. Images of skyscrapers, gangs, crime, zombie-like protestors in the streets, and even political talking heads, are all things that encapsulate the metropolitan aspects of the Big Apple. Gotham is full of many interesting characters. Some are praiseworthy, like Commissioner Gordon while others are not so praiseworthy, such as the Joker. The most famous of all the characters is of course Batman, the protagonist of the city. The character of Batman has gone through many transformations since his creation back in 1939 by Bob Kane and Bill Finger (Bob Kane). The form of Batman you see today is probably not the same your grandfather remembers. Everyone has their own image when it comes to the caped crusader, be it Adam West's 60s campy version, the terrible movie versions from the 90's (e.g., Clooney, UGH!), to the more recent, modern, and dark version played by Christian Bale. For over seventy years superhero buffs have taken a liking to the Dark Crusader and his lack of superhuman powers. Many readers and viewers see Batman (a.k.a. Bruce Wayne) for what he symbolizes: a determined and focused individual who seeks to avenge his parents death by ridding his city of evil-doers and scumbags.

Sine 2 Gotham is similar to many metro-capitals in our own country and exemplifies many characteristics that we may not care to acknowledge such as corruption, pollution, violence, and callousness among citizens. Of course, it wouldn't be entertainment if pure pandemonium wasn't taking place. Subsequently, Gotham always seems to be in some sort of turmoil and the politics of the city tend to be the root of all of Batman's angst, as well as that of Gotham's citizens. The conception that Gotham is in need of a superhero such as Batman is evidence of a fragmented society that has lost many core values that a society needs in order to flourish, such as community, quality of education, and the belief in a traditional hero. We see these themes and concerns most clearly in the 1986 novel, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. Since it is a graphic novel and many believe that this genre of literature is aimed towards young males, it may seem to lack a sense of depth. However, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns questions all of us in regard to whom we deem as heroes. The questions that yearn to be answered relay a deep and possibly controversial outcome in whom we look towards in times of despair. Simply put, when all hell breaks loose we need someone that will not hold back, and who is willing to get their hands dirty in order to get the job done, by any means necessaryregardless of law and order. The 1980s were a weird time for the American people, with terrorist bombings in Beirut killing hundreds of U.S. military forces and the ongoing Cold War in the Middle East (Hampson N.P.). It is in that era when Frank Miller took it upon himself to transform the comic book industry. In his graphic novel, Batman: the Dark Knight Returns, Miller captures the attention and imagination of the readers that has made him the success he is today. In DKR, Batman is now in his fifties and has been retired for around ten years. He's now old, grumpy, slower, and weaker, and also suffers from heart palpitations. In his essay on Batman, Murphy points out that it's only when the state and well-being of Gotham has gone too far and has become resistant to vigilantism that

Sine 3 Bruce confronts social resignation on the streets he once protected the streets of this city I'm learning to hate, the city that's given up, like the whole world seems to have (Miller 12). This is telling by Bruce passing by protestors, faces turned to the darkened sky, carrying synecdochic placards: We Are Damned(Miller 6) (Miller 12).This particular scene of the novel portrays the mentality and hopelessness of the citizens in Gotham. Bruce then takes it upon himself to return from retirement and fulfill his self-anointed civil duties of cleaning his city. A main scene that helps to coax Bruce out of retirement is when he is walking down the street where his mother and father were both murdered. Suddenly, two would be mutant gang muggers wielding knives with knuckle guards contemplate murdering him. Come on honey, slice and dice-- --I don't know, man. He's awful big-- Slice and dice, we got a quota-- (Miller 13) The notion that a gang has a quota for murdering people is quite frightening and sets a precedence to allow the reader to fathom how desperate Gothamthe dystopian society has truly reached. Gangs are hardly a new phenomenon, though the violence and criminal acts they choose to endeavor in are frightening. While there are many reasons for an individual to join a gang, the root of the problem relies on the family and their environment. The question that we really have to ask ourselves is where did it all go wrong? According to Robert Putnam, a Harvard political scientist, the emergence of the two-income family is partially to blame. This is just one of his many theories for the decline of social engagement in America (Putnam 191). The theory is that with parents spending more time at work behind a desk, the children reap the ramifications of neglect. Regardless of socioeconomic status the factors are still the same. With less time focused on family and community, adolescents with idle hands quickly look towards secondary social bonds, such as

Sine 4 gangs that will provide them the attention they desire, even if it exploits them. Among the many questions we must ask ourselves is: with the constant pressure for money and the craving for advancement in social status, is it worth it? Communities are dying because we emphasize more time trying to get ahead instead of throwing block parties and attending social gatherings. In fact one of the consequences researchers have noticed from this is that the media has established a new phenomenon which they label as mean-world syndrome (Harris 219). The theory is that with the constant violence and repetitive cycle of horrifying news, we as a society perceive the world to be a more deadly and scarier place than it really is. When society is as broken and fragmented as Gotham is, it needs a (super) heromaybe even an antihero that is broken and fragmented just as much as it is. When it comes to heroes that are full of emotional and psychological problems, Batman takes the cake. In the spirit of the character, Miller goes about a way of showing Bruce's identity crisis with Batman. While watching television, images flowing through his mind of his parents being murdered cause him to flip through the channels furiously. Each channel he flips through depicts the horror news of the day: murders, rapes, mutilations, abductions. Only then, does this light the internal spark, and finally Bruce is able to succumb to his alternate identity of Batman. The time has come. You know it in your soul. For I am your soul...You cannot escape me. You are puny, you are small You are nothing A hollow shell, a rusty trap that cannot hold me Smoldering, I burn you burning you, I flare, hot and bright and fierce and beautiful You cannot stop me not with wine or vows of the weight of age. (Miller 25) Murphy displays his insight in noticing that Miller is showing that Batman is not simply a costume that Bruce Wayne dons in order to fight crime, but rather, it is perhaps Bruce Wayne that is the

Sine 5 masque that hides the insistent identity of Batman (Murphy 9). While Batman fights for the well-being of the city the other main superhero in DKR is Superman. The Man of Steel is the antithesis of Batman and they eventually duke it out in a climactic battle in the end of the novel. While Batman fights for a utopian dream that rings out messages from Rousseau's Social Contract, Superman resembles that of an SS police enforcer, following orders from President Reagan and doing whatever he's told including acts like removing the Green Arrows arm so that he may never shoot another arrow (Miller 186). Superman does this because of the values and set of ethics that were set upon him from a young age by his adoptive parents, and believes that it is his patriotic duty to follow the orders of the President even if that means taking the decrepit old Batman out of commission. Well, it's a ruckus I'd like you to straighten out for me in Gotham City. Just between you and me and the fence post, I'm worried...about a friend of yours... Now son, I'm not asking you to drag him kicking and screaming into the stable. Just settle him down...ride him around the yard a few times if you have to. (Miller 84) While Superman seems nothing but a mere tool for politicians in the Oval Office, Batman fights for what he believes is good for the people, even if they are unwilling or despise him, such as the talking heads in the media and so called psychiatric experts. Batman portrays some of the Rousseauian logic, by doing what he believes is good for the people, no matter what, even if they resist and truly believe that it isnt what they want. Whoever refuses to obey the general will shall be constrained to do so by the whole body, which means nothing other than that he shall be forced to be free (Rousseau 64). Instead of following the rules of the game set by politicians and law enforcement, Batman conducts his business for the good of citizens by illegal means. Even though the media portrays Batman out to be somewhat of a villain, dont the people really want the Bat to

Sine 6 succeed? There is no doubt that the American perception of heroes has transformed over the years. Take for instance any mafia movie or show. Characters such as Michael Corleone, Tony Soprano, and Scarface all epitomize the image of the anti-hero. They commit horrendous crimes and are downright terrible human beings, yet we still love them. We cant get enough of them. As much bad as they do, we still root for them and want them to succeed in the end. Whattya lookin at? Youre all a bunch fucking assholes. You know why? Cause you dont have the guts to be what you wanna be. You need people like me. You need people like me so you can point your fucking fingers, and say thats the bad know how to hide. even when I guy. So, what dat make you? Good? Youre not good; you just Howda lie. Me, I dont have that problem. Me, I always tells truth-lie. So say goodnight to the bad guy. (Scarface Film)

Even Tony Montana, with the use of colorful language, knew his role in society and lived up to the standards. In order for there to be a solution, the system has to be revamped. Cops and traditional heroes cant get the job done efficiently? Bring in the Batman. Fight fire with fire. Batman must become a criminal in order to fight criminals. Some people believe that prostitution is a victimless crime, but when a pimp starts getting rough with his girl, Batman quickly takes issue with that. An example of Batman's forceful will on the city takes place after a pimp is fighting and shoving his prostitute into a cab. The cabby, not wanting to get involved with the situationeven when its going on in his back seatgives in and accepts a bribe from the pimp. All the while the pimp continues lecturing his girl in the back seat. Suddenly, Batman jumps on the roof of the cab surprising the pimp, causing him to stick his pistol out of the window. Batman easily kicks the pistol out of the pimp's hand and teaches him a lesson he will never forget. Afterward, he pulls the cabby's bribe money out of his coat pocket and shreds

Sine 7 the wad of cash right in front of him (Miller 29). No longer will the Bat turn his cheek to these deviant and criminal acts in his city. Not only does Miller use the normal adult citizen of Gotham in his novel, but there is a strong influx of teens as well. Miller uses teenagers in different aspects in DKR that are worth delving into when referring to the concept of community, as they are the future recipients of the city. Many superheroes have partners but most notably is Batman's sidekick, Robin. In Miller's DKR, Bruce Wayne is constantly having internal struggles with the death of his two former partners who are soon replaced by the young Carrie Kelly. She is accepted as the new Robin after she saves his life, thus proving her immense talents. Though, fortunately enough for Carrie she took on the role of Batman's sidekick instead of a deviant, while some may argue she certainly has the potential. Her parents are portrayed as hippies, watching television and neglecting Carrie as she decides to devote her life to work beside Batman. Surely some may say that Carrie is lucky to run into Batman who fortunately came into her life at a very impressionable time; the same cannot be said for the many other teens in the novel. With the loss of community we see the consequences it has taken on the teens in Gotham, most notably in the mutant teen gangsters. Finigan states through an analysis from Richard Slotkin on the frontier myth as a narrative of racial conflict and regeneration through violence, argues that although superficially white, points to a racial subtext implicit in the representation of the vicious mutants, whose speech mimics stereotypical black urban slang, otherwise known as Ebonics (Finigan 3). There are not many black characters in the novel, besides a couple of reporters and a man on the street being interviewed. Though noting that Gotham is an urban setting, it's peculiar that Miller made the mutant gang members but chose to keep them white. Perhaps Millers intentions were to cast a mirror on the American culture of violence. Violent crimes are no longer just an African-American dilemma; they have crossed over

Sine 8 into every group, regardless of socioeconomic status. Violence is Americas pastime and we pay to see it every day, be it in the news, movies, or on the internet. The hard questions to answer are being asked all the time. With all this violence we witness, what is it doing to ourselves and our children? How did the super violent gangs we see all over the news come to fruition? Many criminologists debate on the insurgence of gangs in the community, especially in the urban setting, though they agree that the loss of community definitely plays a role. Dr. Fort, an expert on gangs and criminology, states that: Informal social mechanisms had a significant impact on kids growing up back in the day. Neighbors knew their neighbors and didn't hesitate to reprimand [or] discipline another person's child. They also didn't mind picking up the slack where others parents left off. Now, it appears as though our society is self-centered. We don't have a tendency to care who are neighbors are, let alone assist them with too much stuff. Mentoring our own children let along another person's child seems like too much of a hassle sometimes so we just don't do it anymore. (Fort N.P.) Many tend to agree that a loss of community plays a crucial role in the birth of gangs. Hower, this still does not explain the motives for the thousands of teenagers, and pre-teens, who join gangs. There are a variety of motives for an individual to join a gang but Dr. Fort says that, I believe one of the main motives has to do with the attention or the lack there of by an individual's family and parents. Some Parents are too busy with work...so the child is left to fend for themselves; the sad result is that they are often going to get in to trouble. While Robin certainly didn't join the mutant gang, she did join another institution so outside of the realm of the average thirteen year old that is just as dangerousif not even more so. The neglect that she, as well as the mutant teens has

Sine 9 experienced is evidence that with the lack of attention, teens will seek approval elsewherebe it good or bad. Butterfield notices this in his novel All Gods Children, in which he articulates how the 1960s were a safer place and murder is not a predestined urban problem. Butterfield goes on to state: The sixties was the decade in which we cast off the lone-accumulated rules of self-control for an exaltation of the individual, a fatal liberty, Tocqueville wrote in another context. We are now less religious, going to church less often, and sending fewer of our children for Sunday school lessons. The family is being our post-industrial era, jobs are shrinking and the authority of the factory foreman and whistle exert less discipline on us. We are less public-spirited and less willing to spend our scarce tax dollars on public schools to teach students to sit still, obey the teacher, and learn useful skills to compete in the global marketplace. (Butterfield 326) While approval among peers and adults is certainly lacking in Gotham, a noticeable trait in the citizens is the loss of hope, a hopein a traditional hero and a hope for justice. Therefore, because of the lack of a traditional hero, Batman takes it upon himself to fulfill this role, be it in a purely untraditional form, a cape and mask with fancy technological gadgets. Something could be said for the loss in the belief of a traditional hero, subsequently also, the loss of hope. Criminologists have also noticed this trend throughout their studies. When questioned on the subject of noticing a loss in the belief of a traditional hero Dr. Fort states, Yes... overwhelmingly. Heroes and the concept of heroes has been totally lost over pulled apart by centrifugal forces seemingly beyond our control. In

Sine 10 time. We all love the concept of a good hero or someone [or] thing to hope for, but overall we have kind of given up on both concepts. Easier to be pessimistic than optimistic. Easier to play the sidekick role rather than stepping up and being the hero for someone. To do that would mean we [would] have to go outside of our comfort zone, which we don't really want to do. (Fort N.P.) The reality that Gotham has loss the sense of a hero is an understatement. While Fort explains in her opinion the psyche of the community as a whole, the question still remains as to, where did our heroes go? Years ago in the Kennedy era, politicians were looked upon as our heroes. They were the ones we looked to in our time of desperation and need. Over time however, the concept of corrupt politicians has really taken a toll on the population, and many people have lost faith in the system, and its ability to maintain law and order. Citizens arent able to look up to the same people that we used to deem praiseworthy. The days are gone in which we looked upon the clergy as spiritual heroesnow they all seem to be inundated with scandals. Politicians are strewn across the media for anything and everything you can imagine. Our favorite boyhood action and sports hero's personal lives are now front page news. In this age of the constant twenty-four hour news cycle, we are quick to forgive and forget. Deep down we want the bad guys to win except of course if they are inclined to hurt or exploit children. So, how far does the depth of humanity have to plummet before one feels it is time to react in order to achieve a change? Spanako's points out that, nearly all of the major characters in the Batman pantheon are reacting against a state that is perceived as either too weak or too restrictive (Spanakos 56). For Bruce Wayne, it was witnessing his parents being brutally murdered in front of him which forces him into donning the cape and mask. Villains, such as Two-Face, in the film The Dark Knight, react out of vengeance against the state for failing to notice the corruption in

Sine 11 the police force who are working for the mafia. Two-Face, also known as Harvey Dent at the time, is kidnapped with his fianc. Later she is killed, and Harvey's face is terribly scarred from an explosion and fire. Harvey was once a loyal servant to the city he loved and fought for. Now TwoFace makes it his life goal to seek out revenge for his fiancs death. These are the justifiable consequences he believes fitting, since it was the states duty to protect her, in which they failed (The Dark Knight Film). In DKR, there are other villains that oppose Batman. The most infamous of all the villains is the Joker. In Miller's alternate reality of DKR, the Joker has been under the care and watch of psychologists in Arkham Asylum, where he's been in a catatonic state since the retirement of Batman. Whats fascinating about this plot is the noticeable symbiosis effect the Joker and Batman have on each other. Without the Batman there is no Joker; reciprocally, if there were no Joker there would be no need for Batman. For years the Joker felt as if he had nothing to live for, until one day he witnesses on television the reemergence of Batman. Quickly the reader is able to see the glee and patented look of pure insanity come upon the surface of the Joker's face. It doesn't take the Joker long after hearing this happy news that he quickly reverts back to his monstrous ways. He even condones one of his last remaining henchmen to equip Two-Face with bombs in which he plans to demolish Gotham's Twin Towers. This eerily jots the readers memory of the horrible images of the attacks on 9/11. While all this is taking place the Joker is planning his masterful escape from the asylum with the unknowing help of his oblivious psychologist, who even goes as far as to state that the Joker is a victim to Batman's psychosis (Miller 126). After the killing of hundreds of innocent lives on David Letterman's talk show, the Joker is able to escape and stage the climactic fight scene for Batman and himself at an amusement park. While Batman is trying to stop the Joker from killing a large group of children, Batman himself is being pursued by the

Sine 12 police on charges of child endangerment, breaking and entering, assault and battery, and creating a public menace, all issued by the new police commissioner Yindela good cop in herself from Chicago. In an act of nobility we see Batman struggle with the decision to end the Jokers life. Though no matter how many people the Joker kills, Batman never stoops to his level and gives into the temptation to snuff him out. Even after being shot and stabbed, Batman's virtue remains intact. Only after Batman paralyzes him with his bare-hands does the Joker twist his own neck a couple degrees more to end his life, laughing manically in the dark and cold night. As much as we would like to deny it, we really love the Joker as much as we do Batman. This may seem like a contentious statement, but deep down we all know its true, and its actually fine to feel that way because frankly Batman and the Joker are one in the same. Even the Joker has to let Batman on this little secret. Don't talk like you're one of them! You're not... even if you'd like to be. To them you're just a freak, like me. They need you right now, but when they don't, they'll cast you out. Like a leper. See, their morals, their "code"... it's a bad joke, dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these uh, these "civilized people", they'll eat each other. See, I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve (The Dark Knight Film) The Joker feels as if its his duty to hold a mirror to society and show them how truly broken it is. The Batman and the Joker are the modern day representation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, respectively speaking (Cowling & Ragg 154). If we think about the Joker and Batman as just pure titles, it would be fair to say that the men that took upon these character roles could be easily interchanged upon each other. For the reasons we love the Batman, subconsciously maybe thats

Sine 13 why we love the Joker as much as well. All the while the Batman and Joker chase is going on, hell is breaking loose all over Gotham. Reformed mutant gang members have now found new ways of bucking the system by donning President Nixon masks. We also see the emergence of extreme vigilantes which in homage to Batman, smear makeup that resembles the bat sign on their faces and take honor in viciously executing the Nixon robbers and also cutting off the fingers of the cashier, who they deemed unworthy in their eyes because he failed to fight the Nixons off. While anarchy is developing in Gotham, the President and Superman are having trouble with the Russians, which have launched an electro-magnetic pulse nuclear missile. Superman uses all his might to stop the missile and it nearly kills him. With the explosion of the EMP missile, power throughout Gotham is fried, causing anything and everything that runs on electricity to cease up including planes in midflight, which causes them to crash into buildings, again bringing about bone-chilling reminiscent images of the attack on 9/11. In this state of desperation and confusion society and humanity is quickly crumbling before everyones eyes. In the anarchy that ensues, Batman mounts a black steed and calls upon the reformed teens turned Batman impersonating extremists to join him in taking back the city. Only in pure anarchy and chaos is Batman now about to declare himself as the acting law enforcement for Gotham, since the state and government has failed to protect the city from itself. Images reminding the reader of the victims of Hurricane Katrina are soon reestablished as there is nothing but complete chaos in the streets of Gotham. Looting and violence is rampant all over the city, despite their previous socioeconomic status and titles. Separate mobs of citizens come to loot the local grocery store and run into each other, and like in some gang movie the entire participants jump into a huge street fight over the food and water they all desperately are willing to die and kill for. Luckily, Batman

Sine 14 and his new posse gallop in and are able to maintain order among the masses. The climax is the fantastic fight between Batman and Superman. Superman is fighting as an agent of the state, licensed by the president in order to enforce his will and establish order. Contrarily, Batman fights for the sanctity of the people of Gotham through his vigilant ways even if they are deemed illegal by the law and politicians. With the help of the one-armed Green Arrow, Batman is able to weaken Superman with the use of a kryptonite arrow and beat him to a bloody pulp. During the scuffle Superman becomes worried about Batman's heart and is quite concerned for his aging friend. In one of the greatest post-fight scenes ever, Batman is able to verbally beat down Superman, stating: You're beginning to get the idea Clark. This is the end for the both of us. We could have changed the world, now look at us. I've become a political liability and you, you're a joke. And with his hands on his throat Batman says, I want you to remember Clark, in all the years to come, in your most private moments. I want you to remember my hand at your throat. I want you to remember the one man who beat you. At that moment Batman suffers a heart attack and dies there in the street (Miller 195). At Bruce Wayne's funeral many of his close acquaintances are there including Selina, also known as Catwoman, Commissioner Gordon, and of course Robin in disguise. After the funeral takes place Superman is able to pick up the faint sounds of Bruce's heart starting to click back on with his super sensitive hearing. Bruce and Carrie have tricked everyone into thinking he was dead. Superman shoots a wink towards Carrie, acknowledging that he knows their little secret and gives an unofficial approval, so long as they keep quiet. In the conclusion of the novel, you see Bruce, Carrie, the Green Arrow, and the Sons of Batman, the former vigilante extremists, all huddled around on the floor of a cave. All of them are optimistic of the future to start an army that will one day do as Batman did in his days of glory.

Sine 15 It's ironic how art mirrors reality and sometimes becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, such as in the case of the Gotham Twin Towers, and the rioting that resembles the state of anarchy following Hurricane Katrina. Many of the characters in DKR represent different symbols of society. Batman serves as the moral compass in his search for justice and virtue in a state that has failed him and the citizens. He stands for hope, because society has lost its traditional heroes and subsequently has given up on hope for their savior. Superman represents the questionable yet commendable integrity of the soldier, controlled by a ruler with contentious orders and views on the way he invokes his power. Carrie and the gang members portrays the youth of today that are seeking attention and approval from their elders but tend to be neglected by self-centered individuals in a society where the concept of family and community have been pushed to the curb. The Joker also represents another anti-hero to the game. Without a doubt, he is evil in all his intentions, though arent all the other anti-heroes we love? If Batman werent in the mix the Joker would be lauded like we do with all our other anti-heroes such as all the previously mentioned mafia and gangster characters. Is it wrong to praise these characters we yearn to see and hear from every chance we can? Maybe through our anti-heroes is the only true way to revolutionize a system we deem broken and unfit is through. Although in a superhero comic form, Miller is able to express his issues with society and the dangers that we face by allowing crime to scare us and let it rule our live by letting it dictate our quality of life. It starts with the individual in rallying the community in taking back humanity. Some criminals have gone too far for rehabilitation, though its not too late for young children. Early intervention is the key. What researchers have found out is that parenting is not a natural instinct (Butterfield 327). The loss of community in America has taken a burden on the family and may lead to divorce which, regardless of races make children more at risk to become criminals

Sine 16 later in life. Butterfield summarizes a possible fix to the deviant child: Fortunately, psychologists have discovered that some of the missing parenting skills can be taught. Parents can be shown how to keep track of where their children are, what they are doing, and with whom they are playing. If children know someone is watching them and they may get caught, they are less likely to get into trouble. Perhaps instead of looking to the world outside to give us a hero, this inward look at our own families and neighborhoods can bring about a metaphorical anti-hero to restore a moral fabric to our society. Starting with parenting our children, we can be able to finally regain our sense of community, quality of education, and hope for all citizens and future generations.

Sine 17 Works Cited Bob Kane. Britannica Book of the Year, 1999. Encyclopedia Brittanica Online. Encyclopedia Brittanica Inc., 2011. Web. 18 Oct. 2011. <http:www.brittanica.com/EBchecked/topic/310959/Bob-Kane> Butterfield, Fox. All Gods Children. New York: Vintage Books, 1995. Print. Cowling, Sam and Chriss Ragg. Could Batman Have Been the Joker. Batman and Philosophy: The Dark Knight of the Soul. Ed. Mark D. White and Robert Arp. New Jersey: Wiley, 2008. 142-155. Print. Finigan, Theo. To the Stables, Robin: Regenerating the Frontier in Frank Millers Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.. Imagetext: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies. 5.1 (2010). Dept of English, University of Florida. 15 Oct. 2011. <http://www.english.ufl.edu/imagetext/archives/v5_1/finigan/> Fort, Jill. Email Interview. Callousness/Fragmentation/Despair. By Michael Sine. 24 Oct. 2011 Harris, Richard J. Violence: Watching All That Mayhem Really Matters. Sex and Violence in the Media. Ed. James R. Angelini. California: Cognella, 2011. 219-249. Print.

Hampson, Rick. 25 Years Later, Bombing in Beirut Still Resonates. usatoday.com. USA Today, 18 Oct. 2008. Web. 17 Oct. 2011. <http://www.usatoday.com/news/military/2008-10-15beirut- barracks_N.htm> Kennedy, Robert F. The Pursuit of Justice. New York: Harper and Row, 1964. Print. Miller, Frank. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. New York: DC Comics, 1986. Print. Murphy, Graham J.. Gotham (K)Nights: Utopianism, American Mythology, and Frank Millers Bat (-topia).. Imagetext: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies. 4.2 (2008). Dept of

Sine 18 English, University of Florida. 15 Oct. 2011. <http://www.english.ufl.edu/imagetext/archives/v4_2/murphy/> Putnam, Robert D. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2000. Print. Scarface. Dir. Brian De Palma. Perf. Al Pacino, Steven Bauer, and Michelle Pfeiffer. Universal Pictures, 1983. DVD. Spanakos, Tony. Governing Gotham. Batman and Philosophy: The Dark Knight of the Soul. Ed. Mark D. White and Robert Arp. New Jersey: Wiley, 2008. 55-69. Print. The Dark Knight. Dir. Christopher Nolan. Perf. Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, and Aaron Eckhart. Warner Bros., 2008. DVD.