Arrow and Superhero Television: Essays on Themes and Characters of the Series

Arrow and Superhero Television: Essays on Themes and Characters of the Series


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This collection of new essays focuses on The CW network's hit television series Arrow—based on DC Comic's Green Arrow—and its spin-offs The Flash, DC's Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl. Comic book adaptations have been big business for film studios since Superman (1978) and in recent years have dominated at the box office—five of the 11 highest grossing films of 2016 were adapted from comics. Superheroes have battled across the small screen for considerably longer, beginning with The Adventures of Superman (1952-1958), though with mixed results. The contributors explore the reasons behind Arrow's success, its representation of bodies, its portrayal of women, its shifting political ideologies, and audience reception and influence on storylines.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786497874
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 09/28/2017
Pages: 243
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

James F. Iaccino is an associate professor of psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and has written a number of texts and articles on superheroes in film and television. Cory Barker is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Communication & Culture at Indiana University. His writing has appeared in Vox, Complex, The A.V. Club, and other publications. He lives in Peoria, Illinois. Myc Wiatrowski is an analyst of business and culture and associate instructor in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana University in Bloomington.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v

Introduction 1

James F. Iaccino, Cory Barker and Myc Wiatrowski

Part One: Theoretical Approaches to Understanding Arrow

“I must become something else”: The Evolution of The CW’s

Arrow (Lisa K. Perdigao) 11

Reading the Body, Deciphering the Text: Arrow’s Multiliteracies,

Superheroics and Merging Multimodalities (Perry Dantzler) 27

The Arrow and His Villainous Counterparts: An Examination

of Their Journeys Toward Psychic Transformation (James F. Iaccino) 46

Part Two: Muscles, Scars and Tattoos

Working Out as Creative Labor, or the Building of the Male

­Superhero’s Body (Juan ­Llamas-Rodriguez) 61

Twenty Percent of His Body: Scar Tissue, Masculinity

and Identity in Arrow (Evan Hayles Gledhill) 78

Beyond Wounds and Words: The Rhetoric of Scarred

Embodiment in Arrow (Sara K. Howe) 95

The Mark of Cain: Bodies, Belonging and the Bratva (John Carter McKnight) 111

Part Three: Sexism and Empowerment in Arrow

Simians, Cyborgs and Smoak: Felicity’s Gendered Roles

(Ashley Lynn Carlson) 124

Sexism, Heroism and Morality in The CW’s Arrow

and DC Comics’ Green Arrow (Katherine E. Whaley and Justin Wigard) 136

Part Four: Politics and Diversity in Arrow

“You have failed this city”: Arrow, ­Left-Wing Vigilantism

and the Modern Day Robin Hood (Antonio Pineda and Jesús Jiménez-Varea) 150

“What, O.J. and Charles Manson weren’t available?” DC Comics,

The CW’s Arrow and the Quest for Racial Diversity (Rodney A. Thomas, Jr.) 167

Part Five: The Influence of Arrow’s Fandom World and Fandom Building

Extending the Universe of Arrow in Arrow 2.5 (Mélanie Bourdaa and Bertha Chin) 177

When Fans Know Best: Oliciters Right the Ship

(Tanya R. Cochran and Meghan K. Winchell) 191

Filmography 209

Bibliography 215

About the Contributors 227

Index 231

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