Title

Hell's Kitchen's Prolonged Crisis and Would-Be Sovereigns: Daredevil, Hobbes, and Schmitt

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2014

Abstract

Comic book heroes often have their origins in noir depictions of failed or failing states. The danger involved and the seeming anarchy that necessitates superheroes recall Hobbes's description of a state of nature and Leviathan as resolution. But comic book heroes generally inhabit states that are better identified by the Hobbes-inspired Carl Schmitt. Indeed, this articles argues that while the Hell's Kitchen of Daredevil comics has some characteristics of a state of nature, it is better characterized by the protracted crisis of state that Schmitt sees in liberal democracies. Hobbes and Schmitt elucidate the crisis that generates the need for a superhero but fail to explain why the superhero does not simply take over the city. This is better explained by American concepts of heroism which emphasize redemption and walking away from power (Lawrence and Jewett 2002).

DOI

10.1017/S1049096513001698

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