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Smith, Philip. "Wiz Kids, nuclear bombs, and Marvel’s Hazmat." Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics 5. (2014): 383–96. 
Added by: joachim (7/30/15, 5:12 PM)   Last edited by: joachim (7/30/15, 5:21 PM)
Resource type: Journal Article
Language: en: English
Peer reviewed
DOI: 10.1080/21504857.2014.905483
BibTeX citation key: Smith2014a
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Categories: General
Keywords: "The Avengers", Ethnicity, Interculturalism, Superhero
Creators: Smith
Collection: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics
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In my paper ‘Postmodern Chinoiserie in Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese’ (2014, Literature Compass 11 (1): 1–14), I propose that existing scholarship on the portrayal of Asians and Asian Americans in American comics has largely focused upon racist newspaper cartoons from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and modern Asian-American alternative comics. There exists a small but growing body of academic literature on the depiction of Asian Americans in modern mainstream comics. In this essay I seek to develop the scholarship by analysing Marvel’s character Hazmat (Jennifer Takeda) in the context of modern depictions of Asians and Asian Americans in American comic books and the postmemory of Nagasaki, Hiroshima, and the Japanese internment camps. This paper is organised in two parts. The first focuses upon the ways in which Asians and Asian Americans have historically been depicted (or, in many cases, not depicted) in American comics. The argument includes an examination of the ways in which the Marvel character Hazmat has been written in relation to those stereotypes. The second half of the essay considers the ways in which Hazmat embodies (quite literally) the violence towards Japanese civilians during World War II, and the ethics of exploring the history of genocide through the superhero genre.
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