AUB Libraries Online Exhibits

The Hero and the Villain


كشكول الرسام – محيي الدين اللباد – بيروت: دار الفتى العربي: 1988

Comics can contribute to a critical understanding of modern culture, of its mythologies and its perception of the self and of the other. Comics can also help us distill, analyze and understand ideas and images lying at the core of our understanding of morality and of our place in the world:  the title "The Justice League" which unites popular comics heroes and characters in their struggle for "Justice" and for the "Good", illustrates the deep connection of comics to popular moral perceptions, beliefs, intuitions and convictions. Comics are indeed a perfect platform whereby we can stage, express, dig into, analyze and get insights into our understanding of morality, and of the eternal battle between Good and Evil, no matter what society or era we belong to.


سوبرمان - متجهم الوجه

From Greek mythology to our present day comics, a hero is often, at least partially, measured by his or her villains: in the battle of good and evil that often unfolds in comics, a hero is dialectically tied to the evil he or she fights, and to whom she/he is portrayed as providing an antithesis: comics can and have in fact helped many generations work out complex ethical questions and problems, by providing a forum to express, debate and shape relevant, contemporary as well as timeless human ethical dilemmas and concerns.


عنتر، العدد 37 - إعداد فاطمة بعلبكي، رسم نبيل قدوح – لبنان: مؤسسة بساط الريح

Mythology, science fiction and comic books are full of stories of heroes and their battles against the ills of society—the eternal struggle between good and evil. We are meant to view these two main characters—the Hero and the Villain—as opposites on the spectrum of ethics and morality, but often when looking more closely, the Hero is a vigilante, and has to perform acts which, in normal circumstances many of us would shy away from engaging in, on moral grounds: can comics be used to teach ethics, highlighting the importance of context, culture, and helping us unravel the entangled threads of the often mixed nature of our actions so as to enlarge our understanding of the nuances of good and evil, of what we mean by "a good person" and "a good life"?

سمير654 final.jpg

سمير العدد 654، سمير وتهته في صراع مع جيمس بوند - سيناريو سيد محجاب، رسوم نسيم  - مصر: دار الهلال، 1968

In a subversive and tongue in-cheek affirmation of the fortitude of local heroes and of the strength and justice of a local cause and identity, a reversal of the idea of the Hero and the Villain is here put on display. In this issue of Samir, the local boys, Samir and Tahtah fight James Bond, who is cast as the villain! Of course, Samir and Tahtah have the upper hand!


سمير العدد 663، سمير وتهته في صراع مع جيمس بوند - سيناريو سيد محجاب، رسوم نسيم – مصر: دار الهلال، 1968