Crazier than Sack of Ferrets!: Deadpool as the Post-Watchmen Superhero
Day, Kenna Alise
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Watchmen has been hailed as revolutionary not only for the literary quality of Alan Moore's script and the precise execution of Dave Gibbon's art, but also for the novel's successful exploration of sophisticated subject matter and realistic moral conflict. Perhaps the most interesting question Watchmen forces us to consider is why an individual would put on the costume and don the mask, and how such a constructed persona affects the individual psychologically and morally. For those heroes that came before, the compulsion to fight crime was often an in-born ideology of justice. But for Moore's Watchmen, we find that even superheroes are corruptible, flawed, imperfect, and even (more than) a little crazy. In the wake of what is arguably one of the most influential superhero novels published to date, the comics industry saw a rise in the popularity of anti-heroes like Moore's, but it wasn't until the 1991 creation of Marvel's Deadpool that fans saw exactly what it means to be a hero in the post-atomic, post-Vietnam age. Through self-reflexivity, genre deconstruction, and dark hysteria, Deadpool shows us that it isn't so easy to walk the straight line of the righteous, and that sometimes it's much easier to submit to the madness of a chaotic, morally ambiguous world.
- Masters Theses