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University of Southern California

The IJPC Journal, Volume 2 - Fall 2010

The Shared Mission of Journalists and Comic Book Heroes: Saving the Day

Paulette Kilmer


Superheroes in comic books circa 1930 to 1960 embody the archetype of the warrior, who struggles to make a difference in the world and always fights for what really matters. Superhero warriors assert their gifts: courage, discipline, strength, and skill to defend the helpless, right wrongs, and save the day. Journalists also sometimes play that role of protecting the public from evil. This article explores the juxtaposition of reality and fiction essential to the comic book plots that idealize newspapers by presenting journalists as heroes. Indeed, these fantasy protagonists and living reporters share the mission to serve the public, expose wrongdoing, and minimize harm.

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