Thomas Hickman In the article, “Justice League? Depictions of Justice in Children’s Superhero Cartoons,” Koru-Butler addresses the way criminal Justice is depicted in children’s superhero cartoons. Koru-Butler’s research distinguishes itself from other research by focusing on the messages about crime, law and Justice present in children’s shows. The reason for Koru-Butler to focus on children’s shows is that these shows might influence children’s notions of the Justice system.
The research is based on an ethnographic content analysis (ACE) designed to determine the major patterns of crime, law and Justice, using a sample of episodes from Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1995), Spider-man: The Animated Series (1994-1998), and Justice League of America/Justice League Unlimited (2001-2006). However, the examined cartoons have too many similarities in comparison to other children’s cartoons and therefore do not represent the range of Justice-related children’s series in the US. Furthermore, I feel that the impact of superhero comics on children’s notions of Justice is being overrated.
To begin with, Koru-Butler’s samples were based on certain distinct features: all shows regularly dealt with crime and crime-fighting, originated from different comic lines and aired during a 15 year period in which significant historical events (e. G. 9/11) changed the ideology regarding crime. By adhering to these criteria the samples turned out too similar among each other to represent the whole genre of super hero cartoons. All three cartoons have mainly male antagonists, whereas there exist certainly some superhero cartoons with female antagonists (e. . Totally Spies and Atomic Betty). Furthermore all three cartoons are creations of American companies, although several US broadcasters (e. G. Inactions and Cartoon Network) aired superhero cartoons that were created by foreign companies (e. G. Dragon Ball Z and Fist of the North). These cartoons do not represent the American culture and its justice system. However, children may still interpret the shown perspectives on crime, law and Justice as legitimate ways to handle social issues for they are not be aware of this American focused aspect.
The three examined cartoons are therefore not representative of the superhero cartoons shown in the US. This leads to conclude that Koru-Butler’s research is not generalize; it is only applicable to the observed cartoons. Also, Koru-Butler states that “superhero cartoons act as cultural primers for children” (p. 64) and “contribute to the infusion of crime ideas and imagery into a cultural environment”(p. 64). Cartoons and series might influence children’s behavior in general, however, the impact of the superhero comics on children’s notions of Critical response on “Justice League?
Depictions of Justice in Children’s Superhero Cartoons” By indirect watch superhero cartoons. Children watch a mixture of different television series. Including series that deal with crime and evil in a more genuine and less violent way. Another thing to bear in mind is that superhero cartoons are made to be violent, in a sense that the cartoon is all about the hero using his supernatural powers. In most of the cases these supernatural powers improve the superhero fighting capacities.
Commonly used are: superhuman strength, being a master combatant and having some sort of integrated weapon (e. G. Superman’s webs and Superman’s laser-eyes). Therefore, Justice systems in superhero cartoons do not aim at depicting the way rimming Justice works as realistic as possible, they create a system that allows for the superhero to stand up and use his supernatural powers. Koru-Butler analyses a topic in which very little research has been conducted. The research provides a solid foundation for future research.
However, the research as it is, does not provide enough data to represent reality. The analysis is applicable to the three examined cartoons, but they do not stand for the superhero cartoon genre shown in the US. Another weak point in Koru-Butler’s research is that the conclusions are based on the analysis of the superhero genre only. There are other factors and television-series that affect children’s notions of the Justice system. Therefore, causation links or the degree in which superhero cartoons influence children’s notions of the Justice system cannot be explained.