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Superheroes & the Great Depression

Superheroes & the Great Depression

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Superheroes & the Great Depression

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  1. Superheroes &the Great Depression “The difference between a hero and a coward is one step sideways.” ~ Gene Hackman

  2. Superheroes & the Depression

  3. Stock Market Crash of 1929 • 10/24/1929 = Crash begins…banks do nothing • 10/28/1929 = Fallout continues as prices continue to drop • 10/29/1929 = The market fell is known as BLACK TUESDAY

  4. Four Factors of the Great Depression • OVER-EXPANSION…farmers produced too much…farmers would use the new equipment to grow better and more food without thinking of what over-production would do overall • DECLINING FOREIGN TRADE…America had high tariffs because they were trying to protect farmers and give them a market overseas for their goods

  5. Four Factors of the Great Depression • OVER-EXPANSION • DECLINING FOREIGN TRADE • AUTOMATION…America was becoming more and more efficient…business turned from people to machines…they could produce more goods more cheaply with a machine • MALDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH…1% of the country had 90% of the wealth…there was a small group of wealthy people, a larger middle class, and a vast majority were pitifully poor

  6. Creating the First Heroes

  7. Superman • An influence on early Superman stories is the context of the Great Depression • The liberal perspective of creators Shuster and Siegel is reflected in early storylines • Superman took on the role of social activist, fighting crooked businessmen and politicians and demolishing run-down tenements

  8. Batman • The first Batman story, “The Case of the Chemical Syndicate,” was originally written in the style of the pulps • This influence was evident with Batman showing little remorse over killing or maiming criminals

  9. Black Widow • Madame Claire Voyant is a spirit medium who communicates with the dead through supernatural means • Satan gives her power to kill with a single touch of her fingers to the head • She later kills corrupt arms manufacturers and aids governments against the Nazis

  10. Captain America • Captain America was the alter ego of Steve Rogers • An intentionally patriotic creation who was often depicted fighting the Axis powers • Captain America was Timely Comics' most popular character during World War II

  11. Green Arrow • His secret identity is Oliver "Ollie" Queen, billionaire • In the late 1960s, however, writers chose to have him lose his fortune, giving him the then-unique role of streetwise crusader • Friends with the enigmatic female Japanese archer, Shado

  12. Wonder Woman • Created during World War II, the character was initially depicted fighting the Axis military forces • Some writers updated the series to reflect an ongoing "present day“ • Steve Trevor is re-introduced as a Vietnam War veteran

  13. Spiderman • The Spider-Man series broke ground by featuring Peter Parker, a teenage high school student • His "self-obsessions with rejection, inadequacy, and loneliness" young readers could relate • Marvel used Spiderman to issue a story dealing with the aftermath of the September 11th, 2001 attacks

  14. Iron Man • Anthony Edward "Tony" Stark is a wealthy industrialist and genius inventor who created military weapons • His metal suit is laden with technological devices that enable him to fight crime • Iron Man was a vehicle for Stan Lee to explore Cold War themes

  15. White Tiger • Created as a kung-fu master, White Tiger is the first Puerto Rican superhero in the history of comics • Discovered the tiger amulets that were formerly worn by the Sons of the Tiger • In his alter-ego, Ayala fought foes such as the Corporation crime cartel

  16. Gravedigger • Ulysses Hazard suffered from polio as a child, but was able to condition his body to an optimum with a regimen of exercise • Ulysses joined the army but found himself in a segregated military, in which all Black soldiers were put to work in menial units: burying bodies, supply delivery, or kitchen work

  17. After the White House… • 25 years of service to the Boys’ Club • Fed 300,000 children through the Polish Relief Commission • Traveled 35,000 miles through 38 countries in 57 days for Truman • Gave over 50 years of his life to public service