The Influence of Superheroes on A Society Essay


How do superheroes reflect the cultural values important to our society today?  In current superheroes in film and TV today, we see the importance of a variety of cultural values, such as:

  • justice
  • freedom / independence
  • responsibility and duty
  • team building
  • multiculturalism / diversity
  • feminism / female strength
  • leadership
  • honor
  • friendship / family

For this investigation, select ONE film, TV show, or comic book based on a superhero.  In your paper, explain how the superhero(es) in the text reflect and illustrate ONE cultural value that is important to American society today.   You may choose from the list above, or identify a different cultural value.

To be more specific, using Superheroes Decoded: American Rebels and our discussion of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse as a model, construct your own essay in which you create a clear thesis statement that shows your understanding of how a superhero in a film, TV show, or comic book demonstrates the importance of ONE specific American cultural value or belief in today’s society.


Your investigation into superheroes should be a direct response to the prompt outlined above.  You essay should be in MLA format and style, including a Works Cited page; a minimum of 4-6 pages in length (1,500 words); and it should include at least 4 sources.  You are required to use ONE film, TV show, or comic book as your primary source that represents a superhero and at least three secondary sources (outside research that might include the historical or biographical context for the text; critics of the film or TV show, etc).

***You may not use Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse as your primary source since we will use the film as a model text.


  • 4-6 pages (at least 1,500 words)
  • MLA format. 12-point font, Times New Roman. Works Cited Page
  • A creative title that hints at the subject matter. ?
  • Indicate a clear focus in a well-written thesis statement that includes a focus on how the superhero reflects ONE cultural value.
  • Your essay should be well-structured with a clear beginning, middle, and end.
  • Concrete evidence properly cited and integrated.
  • Include at least 4 sources (1 primary source and 3 secondary sources). The evidence should clearly support the topic sentence and the overall thesis statement.
  • Each body paragraph should have at least 2-3 sources (primary source + 1 to 2 secondary sources)
  • Provide a conclusion which states why your argument is significant?
  • Implement proper stylistic conventions to include: sentence variation, college-level vocabulary, complex sentence structure.
  • Write the paper as if addressing a scholarly audience.
  • Demonstrate thoughtful revision and editing/proofreading


This assignment will help students meet the following Student Learning Objectives, as stated on the course syllabus:

  • Utilize the writing process to produce complex, high-quality work.
  • Evaluate the validity and soundness of arguments and the evidence within them.
  • Synthesize ideas of two or more writers to create a broader understanding of an issue
  • Utilize critical reading strategies to pull meaning from complex texts.


The following is a list of films or TV shows you should consider; however, you are not restricted to the list. At the same time, if you choose a film or TV show that is not here (or a comic book), please run it by me for approval (send me an e-mail). I will not accept papers on films, TV shows, or a comic book not listed here if you do not run it by me first. When choosing a film, please make sure the focus of the film is on a superhero, and the movie is “current” (produced within the last 10 years).

For summaries of these films, consult the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) found at (Links to an external site.).


The Avengers

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Avengers: Infinity War

Avengers: End Game

Black Panther

Captain America: The First Avenger

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Captain America: Civil War

Captain Marvel

Dr. Strange


Once Upon a Deadpool

Fantastic Four

Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume II

Iron Man

Iron Man 2

Iron Man 3


Birds of Prey

Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice

Justice League

Wonder Woman (2017)

Wonder Woman 1984

The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight Rises

Joker (2019)




Thor: The Dark World

Thor: Ragnarok

Man of Steel

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Spider-Man: Far from Home

X-Men: First Class

X-Men: Days of Future Past

X-Men: Apocalypse

Dark Phoenix


The Watchmen (Movie)

The Hulk

Big Hero 6

TV Shows

The Flash (TV show)

Arrow (TV show)

Marvel’s Agents of Shield (TV show)

The Boys (TV Show)

Daredevil (TV Show)

Doom Patrol (TV Show)

Jessica Jones (TV Show)

Krypton (TV Show)

Legion (TV Show)

Luke Cage (TV Show)

Shadow and Bone (TV Show)

Supergirl (TV Show)

Stargirl (TV Show)

Superman and Lois (TV Show)

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (TV Show)

The Watchmen (TV Show)

WandaVision (TV Show)

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