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Phillips, Nickie D. and Staci Strobl. Comic Book Crime: Truth, justice, and the american way. Alternative Criminology. New York, London: New York Univ. Press, 2013. 
Added by: joachim (2/7/16, 12:50 PM)   Last edited by: joachim (7/3/16, 5:08 PM)
Resource type: Book
Language: en: English
ID no. (ISBN etc.): 9780814767870
BibTeX citation key: Phillips2013a
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Categories: General
Keywords: Crime comics, Cultural criminology, Empirical research, Ethnicity, Gender, Justice, Superhero, USA
Creators: Phillips, Strobl
Publisher: New York Univ. Press (New York, London)
Views: 33/932
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Superman, Batman, Daredevil, and Wonder Woman are iconic cultural figures that embody values of order, fairness, justice, and retribution. Comic Book Crime digs deep into these and other celebrated characters, providing a comprehensive understanding of crime and justice in contemporary American comic books. This is a world where justice is delivered, where heroes save ordinary citizens from certain doom, where evil is easily identified and thwarted by powers far greater than mere mortals could possess. Nickie Phillips and Staci Strobl explore these representations and show that comic books, as a historically important American cultural medium, participate in both reflecting and shaping an American ideological identity that is often focused on ideas of the apocalypse, utopia, retribution, and nationalism. 
Through an analysis of approximately 200 comic books sold from 2002 to 2010, as well as several years of immersion in comic book fan culture, Phillips and Strobl reveal the kinds of themes and plots popular comics feature in a post-9/11 context. They discuss heroes’ calculations of “deathworthiness,” or who should be killed in meting out justice, and how these judgments have as much to do with the hero’s character as they do with the actions of the villains. This fascinating volume also analyzes how class, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation are used to construct difference for both the heroes and the villains in ways that are both conservative and progressive. Engaging, sharp, and insightful, Comic Book Crime is a fresh take on the very meaning of truth, justice, and the American way.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments (vii)

1. Holy Criminology, Batman! – Comics and Constructions of Crime and Justice (1)
2. “Crime Doesn’t Pay” – A Brief History of Crime and Justice Themes in Comic Books (20)
3. The World Is Shifting – Terrorism, Xenophobia, and Comic Books after 9/11 (40)
4. A Better Tomorrow – Apocalypse, Utopia, and the Crime Problem (62)
5. “That’s the Trouble with a Bad Seed” – Villains and the Embodiment of Evil (82)
6. “Aren’t We Supposed to Be the Good Guys?” – Heroes, Deathworthiness, and Paths to Justice (107)
7. “Take Down the Bad Guys, Save the Girl” – Gender, Sexual Orientation, and Comic Book Justice (140)
8. “Aren’t There Any Brown People in This World?” – Race, Ethnicity, and Crime Fighting ˜169)
9. Apocalyptic Incapacitation – The “Maximum-Maximum” Response to Crime (197)
10. Conclusion – Ultimate Justice (218)

Appendix – Sample and Methodology (229)
Notes (239)
Bibliography (267)
Index (283)
About the Authors (289)

Rez.: Christopher Breu: Banality in Comics Studies? In: Postmodern Culture 24.1 (2013), <>
Added by: joachim  Last edited by: joachim
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