The Impact of “Masked Adventurers” in our Society

Recently I’ve been reading one of the greatest graphic novels of all time, Watchmen. I’ve really been enjoying it because it’s different from the extravagant and super powered worlds of Marvel, DC, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading those stories, but Watchmen tells the superhero story from a different perspective. Rather than telling stories about metahumans and superpowered beings, (even though Dr. Manhattan, a character in the story has super powers), this story shows the lives of two generations of vigilantes, a.k.a “costumed adventurers” living in the 1950s-1980s, dealing with the real issues of the cruel world they live in such as drug traffcing, rape, and murder. Like any good superhero story, there are those who appreciate the adventurers and there are those who despise them for their unknown identities. For this reason, during the late 1970’s of the Watchmen timeline, The Keene Act was passed outlawing vigilantes who chose not to work for the government. “Superheroes” might be a stretch, but this book really has me wondering what it would be like having masked “adventurers” fighting crime and bringing the “villains” of our world to justice. Would normal citizens and people such as myself feel safe and secure knowing that they have capable heroes watching their backs, or would they feel threatened by masked and unidentified people recklessly roaming the streets? Would the government attempt to take control of these individuals, possibly utilizing them for a unique police or military force? What would be the line between legal and illegal in regards to the actions of crime fighters? Could they actually make a difference, not just stopping crime but inspiring people to do good? These questions could be really important to think about because if it were not just a fantasy and these individuals started to emerge, limitations and precautions might need to be used as a result of the concerned general public and government. Honestly, I believe that the emergence of “costumed adventurers” could happen. Sure, concerns over who’s behind the mask would be justified, but I think that people trying to do good could inspire others to do their part in making the world a better place.

 

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