The dark night : representing urban anxieties in contemporary superhero films
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The comic book superhero is one of the most important cultural products of the United States. From the second quarter of the 20th century on, the iconic and allusional images of the larger-than-life superheroes in colorful costumes took over not only the pages of comic books, but also occasionally, and recently quite frequently, the big screen. Due to the changing tone of the superhero narratives over time and with the help of special effects that enable directors to imagine broader cityscapes, the concept of city, which has always been a fundamental element in superhero comics, gained even more importance on film. This study aims to overview the aesthetics of urban spaces in recent superhero films, as well as the relationship they build with the elements of the city. Additionally this study will investigate and bring together thoughts on the after-effects of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York City as one of the possible reasons of the ‘superhero boom’ of the last decade, and ultimately reach the conclusion that the position of the superhero films towards both urban crime and international terror can be classified as ambiguity.