Throughout history, the graphic form has been used as a means of conveying information of many forms such as story, words of warning, or even propaganda (Van Meter). In its more recent shape, the modern comic, the graphic work was often treated as a lowly form of art suitable primarily for adolescents and children seeking entertainment (Cengage). This mindset about comics continued until the mid 1980’s, at which point it was shattered by the arrival of “Maus”; a graphic novel that documented the experiences of a Holocaust survivor (Spiegelman). After winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1992, Spiegelman’s work opened the door to a whole world of possibilities for the graphic form in scholarly pursuits. Though this event brought about the
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Unadulterated by human intent, these comics are able to capture public opinion and belief and convey the underlying fears of population in a way reportage is not. Furthermore, when freed from the bounds of reality that is necessary for reportage, comics are able to produce allegories capable of taking on social and ethical issues on a large scale, case in point: super heroes such as “The Incredible Hulk”.
The Hulk was born in May of 1962 to American comic book writer Stan Lee through influence of literary classics such as “Dr. Jeckyl & Mr. Hyde” and Mary Shelly’s “Frankenstein” (Conroy). In his world, the Hulk was created when nuclear physicist Bruce Banner was accidentally exposed to Gamma-Radiation from a new bomb he was developing (Lee). This new being took the form of a giant green super hero capable of acts of unimaginable strength and destruction. Though he was just a super hero, the destructive side of The Hulk combined with the nature of his creation enabled him to symbolically “represent all of the world’s worst fears about nuclear science embodied in one man” in a time where fear of the cold war was an overwhelmingly influential factor within society (Rocchi).
Beyond this embodiment, the fact that the Hulk is never portrayed as a clear hero or villain makes a statement about societal