War on Terror and Superhero

During 2008 , War on Terror has divided people into three group

  1. Those who believed that War on Terror is the right way to kill terrorist
  2. Those who believed that terrorist should be killed but War in Terror is not the right way due to torture , drone program and NSA wiretapping
  3. Those who believed that USA is responsible for all terrorism in world

In 2008, Republican Party had nominated Former Vietnam Veteran and Arizona senator John McCain for Presidential election. John McCain was as hawkish as incumbent President George W. Bush if not more , in his views regarding War On Terror. His nomination as Republican Presidential candidate has symbolised that a lot of people in USA still believed in War on Terror.


Since the debut of first mainstream superhero movie, Superman in 1978, superhero genre in Hollywood has managed to be apolitical. However, 30 years later, this rule would be broken by The Dark Knight. While Batman Begins only used the mood of people in order to make it dark, The Dark Knight directly commented on political situation by being an allegory of War On Terror

In the movie, each character is a representation of an ideology that was present in 2008 USA.Batman represented  those who believed in torture and NSA wiretapping, which is why Batman beats criminal during interrogation, kidnap people from other countries without permission and use sensor from mobile. Detective Jim Gordon represented those people who believed that USA should play by the rule in order to defeat terrorist. Harvey Dent represented those people who were good in heart but were angry towards USA and believe USA is responsible for all terrorism in the world. Joker represented  those terrorist who spread anti-USA propaganda in order to recruit people like Harvey Dent . Like real life USA, Gotham, fictional city where Batman lived, was not sure what is ideology of terrorist. Only difference between Joker and real life terrorist was the fact that Joker was  from Gotham City while real life terrorist were from Middle-East.

The Dark Knight

If The Dark Knight asked complex question and showed both sides of War On Terror, Iron Man simplified things a bit and was more Black and White than The Dark Knight. In the movie , the lead character was a Multi-millionaire weapon manufacturer named Tony Stark who sells weapon to US Army because he believes US Army is right to fight Middle – East terrorist . Unlike Joker of The Dark Knight , the terrorist are from middle east, just like in real life. In this way Iron Man was more relevant to current atmosphere of USA than The Dark Knight.


However Iron Man starts being a less of commentary  on current situation once Tony Stark is kidnapped by middle-east terrorist and Tony Stark makes robotic suit with weapon when he is in captive in order to defend himself. Even though Iron Man fights with middle east terrorist twice in the movie, movie stops being pro-war on terror and starts being a commentary on military-industrial complex as it asks the question what happens when weapons fall into wrong hands.

However these two movie will not be only superhero movie of 2008 which will be politically relevant.


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