I have a very specific idea for a book cover that involves using shadow silhouettes of copyrighted/trademarked characters. It is a non-fiction book about character arcs. The title and cover of the book will be parodies of "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly." The idea for the cover is to have a character to match each of the three arcs that I will be referencing in the book. I believe that using well-known, modern characters will allow my readers to understand what my book is about at a quick glance.
I have not gotten real legal advice, but I have delved pretty deep with ChatGPT, and from my research, I am absolutely sure I can argue fair use. The silhouettes will be shadows of easily recognizable characters. They would have a clear educational purpose on the cover. Each silhouette represents an arc type and I will be referencing them inside the book. I do not believe I would be infringing on the owner's markets. I will not be selling my book as a product of the characters. I will also be sure to attribute the characters to each of their owners inside the book.
Every piece of advice I am getting from friends and colleagues is to not bother, even if I am 100% sure that I can argue fair use because platforms like Amazon don't care if you can argue fair use and can decide to remove my book. What bothers me about this is that the fair use law is in place to protect people like me who are doing the right thing, but it seems professionals in my field believe that the law wouldn't help me, and my book could be removed from all platforms even if I respond promptly to complaints with a solid argument for fair use.
Would it be worth it to just go ahead with my plan of using copyrighted/trademarked silhouettes, or should I use public domain characters that will ultimately lead to fewer people understanding my book at a glance due to characters not being recognizable as they fall out of pop culture?
Edit: I have left out information about the title and book cover to protect my idea. I am not asking anyone if they think I have an argument for fair use. I am sure that I do. I alone have the full context of the situation. I was merely asking why people are so resistant to the idea of going for it even though (with the correct context in mind) I am very confident I can make a case. I have found my answer, but I have also done research that is telling me the opposite. I was going to seek legal advice regardless, but I thought this would be a good place to get more information before I move forward. Instead, 99% of the answers were trying to prove me wrong without full context and ignored what I was trying to ask.