Why Do Children Have To Watch Their Childhood Heroes Die - Sources

From Mike Beane's Blog

While cleaning my hard drive (who does that these days?) I found a file titled "EH147-FinalPaper-Sources.txt" and it is a snapshot of sources while working on Why Do Children Have To Watch Their Childhood Heroes Die?.

Your assignment for today is to post an annotated bibliography, a kind of update on how your research is going and how you are planning to utilize each source you've found.Your assignment for today is to post an annotated bibliography, a kind of update on how your research is going and how you are planning to utilize each source you've found.
A Writer's Resource discusses annotated bibliographies on p. 261-262 and provides several examples. Follow their instructions to complete your own.

It's okay if your sources change or if you add more as you draft the paper, but try to come up with at least five sources. Be advised that you will receive a zero for this assignment if your sources lack variety, perspective, imagination, and relevance to your argument. If it is obvious that you settled for the first five sources on Google, you will receive a 0 for this assignment. If you do not fully summarize and contextualize each source, you will receive a 0. If you fail to explain how each source will be useful to you in building your argument, ditto. If you do not attempt to cite the source but simply copy and paste links, you will fail the assignment.

Be thorough. Take your annotations seriously, and you'll find that you've already started drafting your essay. It will be much easier for you to synthesize ideas and place sources in conversation in your essay, if you've laid the groundwork in your annotated bibliography.


Looking for a supportive article on Frank Miller's approach to Batman to accompany Reisman's notes on the turning Batman from the commonly known "good guy" caped-crusader into the darker version of the Dark Knight that debuted in 1986.  This 2008 article by Joe Strike covers much ground in explaining the transition to (or more the failing repression of) Batman from Bruce Wayne.  

I'm not using this as one of the 5, it fits in with Strike's article for information:  The rise of vigilante justice had arrived and this version of Batman leaned heavily into it.  Where Gotham City is sometimes reflective of New York City, 1984 had seen Bernard Goetz, the Subway Vigilante, defended himself against four individuals by shooting each of them to avoid being robbed on New York City subway.  (One of the individuals was named "Barry Allen" and that coincidently is the alias of The Flash, one of Batman's superhero friends).

Explaining influences that brought about the story: 

"A few years went by. Now it was the very angry late '70s, early '80s, the time of "Dirty Harry" and "Death Wish." I started speculating how Batman would act, the kind of person he'd be in this world. Then I got the big light bulb: what if he was older or retired? What if he were the age of the legend?"  

"The result was "The Dark Knight Returns," a brutal re-imagining with a 50-ish Bruce Wayne coming out of retirement to battle against both a Gotham City gone amok and his own aging, unreliable body. The book ends in a no-holds-barred Superman/Batman showdown, with the man of steel sent by the U.S. government to bring down the obsessed vigilante – a contrast between the sun-powered Superman and the nighttime crime fighter that's now part of the official DC continuity.

As "Clerks" director and comics buff Kevin Smith points out, "Batman is about angst; Superman is about hope."
This helps transition to cinema (where I need to go with this).  

"Returns" set the stage for Tim Burton's 1989 "Batman" blockbuster and all the superhero movies to follow in its wake, including the new one sharing its title. - prior to that, the only official cinematic movies from either DC or Marvel were the four Superman movies and the one Supergirl.


Has there been a study or research into how movie death affects children?  Do they understand it?  Willis pinpointed four aspects of death that children and adults do not view in the same way: irreversibility, finality, inevitability, and causality. Children may not understand that death is permanent and that it cannot be “fixed” or reversed. They also do not have enough life experience to realize that death is inevitable for all living things. Furthermore, because they do not think abstractly, some young children do not understand the causality of death

According to Baker et al. (1992), the process of grieving after a loss and coming to understand death is a process that consists of psychological tasks that children progress through and eventually overcome their grief.  The first stage involves understanding what death is, knowing its characteristics, and being able to recognize when it has happened. The middle phase involves understanding that death is a reality and accepting the emotions that come along with that realization.  The last phase of this process involves a reorganization of a child’s sense of identity and his or her relationships with others and with the environment Note: The child will also be able to invest emotionally him- or herself in relationships with others without being overly afraid of losing that person to a death.

The last phase note: Rogue One -> We watched this as a family and just after 3/4's of the movie it becomes evident: none of these characters are going to make it out alive, or else they'd have been in Episode IV. My kids do not miss this point either and I watch them sink into their seats as all of the characters they spent time getting to know and cinematically bond with are all dying.  Why bother to ever be invested in any other on-screen character without knowing if they'll all be killed.  What's the point?  [Consider transitioning to the Lion King and frame the death of Mufasa where that is a learning moment, or Bambi's mother.  All death isn't bad and this article supports that] Sedney describes the merits of The Lion King’s grief portrayal because it offers a realistic view of grief as well as a resolution to sadness. For this reason, this particular film has the potential to be an effective teaching tool to serve as a basis of discussion on the topic of death with children. 


What is the market appeal?  Is death the jarring momentous item to grab attention, even if it crushes the reader a little?  Is that what they really want?

1988 Batman: A Death in the Family - where fans actually voted for Robin to be killed.  How dark is that?

The Uncanny X-Men, the most popular series of the last few years. (Published under six separate titles, the X-Men sell more than 1.5 million copies a month.) This series focuses on mutants with strange powers - the X-Men - who become the object of a sort of racist persecution around the planet. There are good mutants, bad mutants, female mutants, mutants that can self-teleport, and mutants who can blast through steel with their heads. None of them are terribly popular in their own world; all of them are tremendously popular with comic-book buyers. Byrne and Davis both feel that the trouble the X-Men have in dealing with an increasingly hostile world explains their appeal to teen-agers, as does the fact that outsiders cannot understand them.

Death on the news and around the world, even locally, is always happening.  Along with turmoil and other things to deal with, are these deathly moments the draw?

Saved to PDF, only 1 nytimes article left to view


Cinematically, was the do-gooder the way to bring in money?  The Superman sequels showed that was not the case

 Way back in the earliest days of big-budget superhero filmmaking, 1978’s Superman: The Movie was a sensation — but its sequels showed massively declining returns and that incarnation of the franchise was canned after 1987’s loathed Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.   What reflected the times?    As many film critics noted, in the age of the War on Terror, this Batman seemed to be the hero we deserved. Did they try the boy scout approach again?  and how did it work out? Bryan Singer’s Superman Returnshit theaters in 2006 and it was as sunny, colorful, and hopeful as you’d want a Superman story to be. But Warner Bros. was disappointed in its performance and cancelled plans for a sequel.   Again, movie sales push towards the darker and grim

Memorable deaths that stick with us?

Ones that stuck with me
1. Obi-Wan (but he came back as the blue force ghost) 2. Spock (Wrath of Khan) Can I find more of this book?  Check library search stacks


Marvel, post Endgame



Fridging is a term used in cultural criticism, primarily in regards to comic books, to describe the act of killing, harming or incapacitating female characters for the purpose of motivating the plot. The term references an issue of Green Lantern in which the character's girlfriend was killed and stuffed into a refrigerator as a plot device. Cultural critics use the term to examine why the plot device has been disproportionately associated with female characters.

Diminishing Returns

Diminishing Returns (are we just in a phase?)   <--url typo is funny


* Logan - did the death fit the story? Yes