‘It’s a classic depiction of Good versus Evil’ Elijah Price tells the potential buyer of a piece of art. This ‘piece of art’ is an early sketch of a battle between two characters in a comic book and is on display at Price’s art gallery, Limited Edition, in the world of M. Night Shyamalan’s 2000 film Unbreakable. Popular culture is replete with such dualities of Good and Evil – the good hero invariably battling the evil villain. One of the clearest spaces where this battle is given visual and bodily form is in the comic book superhero genre that Shyamalan draws upon in Unbreakable and to which Elijah Price is referring. While this genre is inherently absorbed with matters of justice, legality and criminality – and of Good and Evil – it has traditionally been dismissed as not only a form of popular culture and mere entertainment but as the lowest form of popular culture – that is, as ‘crude, poorly-drawn, demi-literate, cheap, disposable kiddie fare…’ (McCloud 1993: 3).
Recommended CitationPeters, Timothy D., Comic book mythology: Shyamalan’s Unbreakable and the grounding of good in evil, Law Text Culture, 16, 2012, 243-276.