I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few years studying heroes, and what our cultural heroes say about society. Much is made of gritty vs. fun, Man of Steel vs. Guardians of the Galaxy. But one thing that is often overlooked is the importance of parody superheroes to this discussion. I think that that parodies serve just as much as a dismantling of the superhero archetype as anything Frank Miller wrote. Not to belabor this too much, but clearly the people behind these parodies were commenting on the pervasive hero-worship of characters like Supes and Cap, and often jabbing the broodiness of Batman and Punisher. There is also a very real message in many of these books: normal people can be heroes, too.
So here’s a by-no-means exhaustive list of some superhero parodies—be sure to join the discussion in the comments!