The following study used sales data to ascertain the presence of a link between current socio-political tensions (as measured by the Bulletin of Atomic Sciences’ Doomsday Clock and national crime statistics) and the prevalence and acceptance of so-called “vigilante justice” portrayed in the top-selling comic books during the period between 1989 and 2001. The purpose of this study is to understand what, if any, relationship exists between dark times and desperate measures; between a feeling of powerlessness in world affairs, and the belief that justice outside of the system is acceptable when that system, at home or abroad, fails to keep people safe.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Comic books, strips, etc.--History and criticism; Vigilantes in literature; Comic books, strips, etc.--Social aspects; Comic books, strips, etc.--Moral and ethical aspects; Stress (Psychology)

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Communication and Media Technologies (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Communication (CLA)


Andrea Hickerson

Advisor/Committee Member

Grant Cos

Advisor/Committee Member

Rudy Pugliese


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes