Hollywood mimics the cries of civilisation. In this case it could also be inciting them. And it wouldn’t be the first time America used costumed superheroes to do so. The rise of their popularity coincided with World War II. Captain America was created prior to the United States involvement in the war, and the comic books depicted superheroes fighting Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. When the war ended, the superheroes had no villains to fight and their popularity died. Other genres popped up, quite possibly romance and family oriented sit-coms after ‘those in power’ identified a need to restock the human population.
It’s not just Americans who used propaganda in times of conflict. During World War II, the Germans used films as tools to portray the Jews as barbaric people who deserved their fate. President Roosevelt however, recognised that such direct films would not work on the Americans, and this led him to pressure Hollywood into helping the war effort, ultimately producing films that created a patriotic mindset while convincing viewers that sacrifices needed to be made. After the war, our superheros didn’t die. They merely retired to a shelf to wait for another time when the world was steeped in trouble.
D L Richardson is the author of speculative fiction. She has three teen novels and one short story anthology published. The Bird With The Broken Wing reached number 2 at OmniLit and number 38 at Kobo Books. Feedback reached number 1 at OmniLit. Little Red Gem is her third novel and recently won 2nd place Best Books of 2013 Paranormal Cravings and the book trailer which features an original song performed by the author appeared on USA Today website. She lives in Australia on the NSW south coast with her husband and dog.