Bachelor Thesis from the year 2009 in the subject English - Pedagogy, Didactics, Literature Studies, grade: 1,0, University of Hildesheim (Institut für Englische Sprache und Literatur), language: English, abstract: The USA have a long history of vigilantism. From lynch justice to the New York Guardian Angels, the American history is full of it. The topic also found its way into American literature and film. Clint Eastwood, Charles Bronson and superheroes like Batman - The success of vigilantism in fiction shows the fascination of Americans with the matter. It is the discrepancy between law and moral when it comes to judge vigilante justice that makes it such a fascinating topic. This paper will discuss this discrepancy on the example of one of the most famous fictional vigilantes in literature: Batman - also known as the Dark Knight. The first part of this essay will introduce Comics and Graphic Novels. It will offer a definition and a short overview of the history of comic books and the sub-genre Graphic Novels. Afterwards Batman, his history and origins as well as the happenings in The Dark Knight Returns will be explained and summarised. The third and last part of the essay will focus on vigilantism. It will explore the fascination of the US-American culture with vigilante justice and discuss the moral and legal permissibility of vigilantism. With this knowledge the essay will take another look at Batman to judge his actions and to find out why he fascinated people for over 70 years - and still does.