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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:00 pm 
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Sometimes I think Hollis Mason may have caused this with 'Under the Hood'. He unveils the watchmen, showing their flaws and weakness. Otherwise, they would be just 'heroes'...

Anyway the hate is strong enough to motivate the police strike, the Keene Act and the decline of superheroes comic books. Looks like Frederic Wertham has won...


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:35 pm 
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Well, I'm sure that rape allegations against USA's star war hero didn't exactly help. Still, you can't pin all of the heroes' bad press on Mason. Mothman's name was mud as soon as the public saw him being carried away by the men in white coats, and the Silhouette was in disgrace for reasons that had nothing to do with "Under the Hood."

No, I think that the real hatred behind superheroes stems from the fact that as Mason pointed out, superheroes were only ever just a fad in the Watchmen world. As soon as the initial fascination with them wore off, people started to realize that they were simply mortal and flawed human beings who were given privileges denied to sworn officers. Thus, we have the Keene Act and the police riots.

Additionally, I think that the superheroes were hated far more simply because they were famous. Take Britney Spears, for instance: Not only is she a "celebrity" whose comings and goings are broadcast throughout the world, but she's also a horrible mother. She's absolutely not the only horrible mother in the world, but she inspires more national hatred than 99.99 percent of all other neglectful parents in the world simply because she's famous.

The superheroes were flawed just like any other human being. Unfortunately, their flaws were magnified by their fame, which made them infamous.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:06 am 
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I think it may also have something to do with the fact that they were outside of society’s and the government’s control. The police are regulated by laws, review boards, elected officials and policy makers. You can’t regulate vigilantes. They’re an unknown element, for good or bad. It’s clear why this would bother politicians and the government. All they would have to do then is help spread the bad press about superheroes and that would turn the opinion of many average people. Also, how do you file a lawsuit for wrongful arrest or complain of police brutality against a masked vigilantly with a secret identity? I’m sure a lot of the innocent people, and some of the not so innocent, that Rorschach met with who left with broken bones had a few complaints about vigilantism. This would’ve affected a lot of opinions about superheroes without Hollis’ book.

The growing feeling of dislike for superheroes may have even helped to create a wider audience for his book in the first place. If you have a negative opinion of superheroes you would be more likely to run out and buy a tell all book about them.


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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 3:55 pm 
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I had wondered about this question -- the posts here so far offer excellent food for thought, very well presented discussion here.

I wonder, too, if a part of the dislike was simple jealousy and resentment against, well, better guardians than the police? In some ways, on some occasions. Heroic figures have traditionally aroused envy and suspicion and antipathy. The field of heroic literature is full of this. The anti-hero arises in reaction to the hero, and there's always a turncoat waiting in the wings to betray the hero. I think there is a deliberate hearkening to this in Watchmen at Nite Owl I's death, where the last panel shows the statue of Mason displaying the damning phrase "INGRATITUDE", when read as one word as the layout suggests, a smear of blood obscuring what would normally be a blank space between the words. Ingratitude for years of selfless service, as the "big bouncy boy scout" meets an ugly death at the hands of a mob, generated from among the very citizens he set out to protect.

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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 5:34 pm 
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I was just thinking about this today - so here's my two cents:

Rorschach and the Comedian are to blame as to why people hate superheroes.

Rorschach:

Rorschach, as we all know and love dearly, never retired from the business even after the Keene Act is enabled, continues with his "methods" of interrogation, and prefers to live in his black-and-white world, which most people just hate. Not only that, but the NYPD has several grudges against the man ("He's made several inflammatory remarks against them, and they've never forgotten about it," possibly suggesting that during Rorschach's arrest, it wasn't the first time he's lit a cop on fire. That or the word inflammatory was just a metaphor for the burning rage to just take this guy down.)

Comedian:

Well, you know what the Comedian has done. Attempted rape, killed a pregnant woman, killed children, even if they are acts of war, that doesn't entirely justify the needless death of a pregnant woman after the war is over, and unless the children had guns and shot at them first, why would you consider shooting at them? The same problem is presented today with the genocides in Africa.


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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 2:56 pm 
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I don't think you can pin it on Rorschach and the Comedian solely as I think the public would have been scared of the superheroes already as they all seem to be seriously mentally flawed, obviously Mothman was, but Hooded Justice, I felt was almost menacing, you never knew who he was, and although he was "fighting for justice" as it were he still seemed odd. The very fact that thee people are allowed to roam the streets at night would be scary enough, I would be scared, because with people like Rorschach you never know what is going to set them off. They appear from the outside to be very impulsive, thus they are a menace to society. Also, there is very little thanking of the heroes in the GN, this shows that many people thought they were using the identity of a hero to go and commit crime, or using the identity of a hero for their own motives, as is clearly shown with the comedian.

Although the Comedian and Rorschach are the prime examples of why people hated the heroes, I think it was unlikely that it was just them who lead to this fear and hatred.

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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 5:56 pm 
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I believe it's because, like other posts have stated, these were flawed individuals like you and I setting themselves up as an arm of the law. Sometimes, you'll get great, morally upstanding people like the first Nite Owl, who above all else just wanted to help people and do the right thing. All too often, though, you will get people with drives and motives other than standing up for justice (Hooded Justice deriving sexual pleasure from crime-fighting, first Silk Spectre essentially using it to boost her career, Comedian doing it for the lulz, etc.), or you will people with notions of justice so outside of the mainstream they become a societal menace instead of a solution (Rorshcach).

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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2009 1:55 pm 
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This is my first post. Yay.

Anyway, a while back, I actually asked a police officer what the "official" response to a "masked vigilante" would be. He told me "that would depend on how bad this person was making us look as police officers." :lol:

In all actuality, masked vigilantes act "outside the law." That fact alone doesn't sit well with the majority of Americans as a whole, I've found. A few people here and there think that it's cool and the gang, but I think that most folks tend to want the enforcement of the law to be left to those on the civil payroll as those are the people that we, as taxpayers, are able to control (since we vote for funds to be given to police for equipment and more officers, and I'm pretty sure we elect police chiefs and commissioners, and such along those lines).

Rorschach is a wild card, and The Comedian is a loose cannon. Sure, we all think they're great characters, but we are among those few that I mentioned earlier. Seeing their actions blatantly going against the law that everyone else has to abide by, I think most folks would be upset, but especially police officers. On top of that, I think that New Yorkers would begin to wonder, with a guy like Rorschach ... "when is he going to bust down my door?" Even if he's in pursuit of another criminal, and I've done nothing wrong, what if I get caught in the way? If I am wounded as a result of police shooting at a criminal, or some such police action, then at least there will be some repercussions and recompense after an investigation. A masked vigilante? Forget it. You've got to catch him first, if you catch him at all.

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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2009 7:41 pm 
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I think all of you had good points. My opinion is that there was a reason to hate them from all fronts: Police officers because it make them look like they are not doing their work, people afraid of them and people that envy them and there is the little problem of the ones that were easy to hate like the comedian and Rorschach.

But we need to remember that they were loved by a lot of folks too since Veidt built and empire out of his hero image so I think it was a combination of factors and maybe they don't caring enough about their public image.

I mean if they would had decide to work with the police and maybe have some regulations within the group that might had helped to keep masked adventurers as a positive force on society. I mean the comedian and Dr. Manhattan managed to work with the government in the end so I guess it could had been done if any of them would had foresight the need to try to stay on society's good light, IMO.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:06 pm 
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Curiosity Inc. wrote:

Additionally, I think that the superheroes were hated far more simply because they were famous. Take Britney Spears, for instance: Not only is she a "celebrity" whose comings and goings are broadcast throughout the world, but she's also a horrible mother. She's absolutely not the only horrible mother in the world, but she inspires more national hatred than 99.99 percent of all other neglectful parents in the world simply because she's famous.

The superheroes were flawed just like any other human being. Unfortunately, their flaws were magnified by their fame, which made them infamous.


quite interesting. I'd say I have to agree with this

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