Jeremy Renner in The Hurt Locker.
In a time of increasingly complex geopolitical entanglements and moral failings, these films articulate a yearning for unsullied heroism, effective leadership and appropriate responses to crises.
Todd Phillips’ film reflects a society that is distrustful of traditional power structures and voicing that disillusionment at the ballot box.
Joaquin Phoenix in Joker (2019): the Joker’s humour-filled rebellion has typically contrasted with Batman’s dour moral self-righteousness.
Culturally, the joker turns socially significant places into spaces of carnival, revealing cracks within the social order. He is an enduring character – and a common figure in 2019.
An upcoming film will explore the origins of the Joker, last seen in the Batman franchise. But prequels are often poorly received – perhaps with good reason.
From the Joker to a Game of Thrones prequel, origin stories are increasingly common in film and TV – perhaps at the expense of originality in popular culture.
The lynch-pin of the marketing for the new ‘Titans’ TV series is a line in which Robin says “F@#k Batman!”
Warner Bros. Television
In the trailer for the new DC TV series, Robin answers ‘F@#k Batman!’ when the bad guys ask about the Caped Crusader. This is a hopeful move to necessary character changes in superhero storytelling.
A strip from The Gift, a comic about organ donation.
Ashling Larkin/University of Dundee
To read a comic is to engage in play, problem solving and self discovery.
The Superman character has endured and continues to be popular because he is a symbol of renewal and hope.
Last year David Feeney beat Greens candidate Alex Bhathal for the Victorian seat of Batman by a whisker.
If David Feeney was found to be ineligible, Labor would be at high risk of losing his Melbourne seat of Batman to the Greens.
Jason Mamoa as Aquaman and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman are the best things about Justice League.
Atlas Entertainment, Cruel & Unusual Films, DC Comics
The makers of Justice League embed the film in a post-9/11, post-global warming, post-Brexit, post-Trump context. But it is loud and disappointing with some genuinely unimaginative action sequences.
She started life as a bit-part sidekick to The Joker but is now a multi-platform anti-hero.
Ursula Dorada/Angela Sprecher/MSCSI
Superheroes are either men, or women drawn by men. Couldn’t there be another way of creating a 21st century superheroine?
The Lego Batman Movie.
The Lego Batman Movie is a worldwide box office smash – but have the filmmakers delved too much into the character’s more ‘toxic’ elements?
Superheroes – and villains – are more popular than they’ve ever been.
From Wonder Woman to Doctor Strange, superheroes are at peak popularity. As political orthodoxies across the world fall away, these flawed, but good-hearted characters speak to modern anxieties.
‘They call me Existential Comfort Man’.
It ain't all biff, bang pow.
© Warner Brothers
The superhero film currently appears to be the closest thing to that ever-elusive cinematic holy grail: the guaranteed box office hit.
The stakes for the Nationals in the seat of New England are extraordinarily high.
Apart from the main game, watch for the drawcard contests on Saturday night. Among them will be the performance of the Nick Xenophon Team (NXT), the battles in the Nationals’ seats of New England and Cowper…
Greens leader Richard Di Natale has his eyes on a number of Senate and House of Representatives seats.
AAP/Rebecca Le May
With four weeks to go there is still much uncertainty in this election campaign. But, so far, the Greens would be pleased with their performance.
Passing the halfway point of the election campaign, The Conversation took an in-depth look at three key seats in Victoria.
Greens candidate for Batman, Alex Bhathal, on the campaign trail at Preston Market.
The Greens, who already hold the seat of Melbourne, are making a big play for two nearby Labor-held seats – Batman and Wills.
Greens leader Richard Di Natale (right) and Greens candidate for Grayndler Jim Casey are eyeing off the inner-Sydney seat.
With the election result almost certain to be close, preferencing will play a key role, leaving the progressive parties in particular in a difficult bind.