Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.
For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.
Despite their commercial appeal and cross-media reach, superheroes are only recently starting to attract sustained scholarly attention. This groundbreaking collection brings together essays and book excerpts by major writers on comics and popular culture.
While superhero comics are a distinct and sometimes disdained branch of comics creation, they are integral to the development of the North American comic book and the history of the medium. For the past half-century they have also been the one overwhelmingly dominant market genre. The sheer volume of superhero comics that have been published over the years is staggering. Major superhero universes constitute one of the most expansive storytelling canvases ever fashioned. Moreover, characters inhabiting these fictional universes are immensely influential, having achieved iconic recognition around the globe. Their images and adventures have shaped many other media, such as film, videogames, and even prose fiction.
The primary aim of this reader is twofold: first, to collect in a single volume a sampling of the most sophisticated commentary on superheroes, and second, to bring into sharper focus the ways in which superheroes connect with larger social, cultural, literary, aesthetic, and historical themes that are of interest to a great many readers both in the academy and beyond.
|Publisher:||University Press of Mississippi|
|Product dimensions:||6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
Charles Hatfield is an associate professor of English at California State University, Northridge, and is the author of Alternative Comics: An Emerging Literature and Hand of Fire: The Comic Art of Jack Kirby, both published by University Press of Mississippi.
Jeet Heer, a former columnist for the National Post (Canada), has been published in Slate, the Boston Globe, the Guardian, the Comics Journal, and many other venues. He is also the coeditor (with Kent Worcester) of Arguing Comics: Literary Masters on a Popular Medium and A Comics Studies Reader, both published by University Press of Mississippi.
Kent Worcester teaches political theory at Marymount Manhattan College and is the author of C. L. R. James: A Political Biography and coeditor (with Jeet Heer) of Arguing Comics: Literary Masters on a Popular Medium and A Comics Studies Reader, both published by University Press of Mississippi.
Table of Contents
I Historical Considerations 3
Comics Predecessors Peter Coogan 7
Men of Tomorrow Gerard Jones 16
Gladiator Philip Wylie 23
The Great Comic Book Heroes Jules Feiffer 30
The Comics and the Super State Walter Ong 34
The Superman Conceit Fredric Wertham 46
The Great Women Superheroes Trina Robbins 53
Fandom and Authorship Will Brooker 61
II Theory and Genre 73
Literary Formulas John G. Cawelti 78
Crowds of Superheroes Robert Jewett John Shelton Lawrence 80
The Epic Hero and Pop Culture Roger B. Rollin 84
Masked Heroes Richard Reynolds 99
The Revisionary Superhero Narrative Geoff Klock 116
Jack Kirby and the Marvel Aesthetic Charles Hatfield 136
Navigating Infinite Earths Karin Kukkonen 155
A Song of the Urban Superhero Scott Bukatman 170
III Culture and Identity 199
Wonder Woman Gloria Steinem 203
Invisible Girl Lillian Robinson 211
Love Will Bring You to Your Gift Jennifer Stuller 216
Batman, Deviance and Camp Andy Medhurst 237
Color Them Black Adilifu Nama 252
Comic Book Masculinity Jeffrey Brown 269
The Punisher as Revisionist Superhero Western Lorrie Palmer 279
Death-Defying Heroes Henry Jenkins 295
List of Contributors 305