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Maynard, Amy Louise. "Bourdieu vs. Batman: Examining the cultural capital of the dark knight via graphic novels." Framescapes. Graphic Narrative Intertexts. Eds. Mikhail Peppas and Sanabelle Ebrahim. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Pr. 2016. 51–61. 
Added by: joachim (6/27/17, 5:50 PM)   Last edited by: joachim (1/18/18, 11:56 PM)
Resource type: Book Chapter
Language: en: English
BibTeX citation key: Maynard2016
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Categories: General
Keywords: "Arkham Asylum", "Batman", "The Dark Knight Returns", "The Killing Joke", Bolland. Brian, Bourdieu. Pierre, McKean. Dave, Miller. Frank, Moore. Alan, Morrison. Grant, Superhero, United Kingdom, USA
Creators: Ebrahim, Maynard, Peppas
Publisher: Inter-Disciplinary Pr. (Oxford)
Collection: Framescapes. Graphic Narrative Intertexts
Views: 38/1258
Attachments   URLs   https://www.academ ... via_Graphic_Novels
Bill Finger and Bob Kane’s character of Batman is undoubtedly one of the most popular characters in the DC superhero-verse, instantly identifiable to a range of audiences. The chapter examines how the perception of Batman had changed since he has been the focus of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (1986) by Frank Miller, Batman: The Killing Joke (1988) by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland, and Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on a Serious Earth (1989) by Grant Morrison and Dave McKean. I discuss how the aforementioned graphic novels increased Batman’s status in popular culture, his ‘capital,’ not only because the medium of the graphic novel at that time (1985–1990) was being heavily marketed as more literary than the comic book, but also because these graphic novels directly addressed socially-relevant and complex themes related to urban neuroses, psychological trauma, and class warfare. The public’s perception of the ‘idealised’ superhero was also undergoing a fundamental change, superheroes increasingly being presented as morally-conflicted vigilantes rather than mythical saviours, Batman being the most prominent of this ‘new’ type of hero. By utilising Pierre Bourdieu’s Theory of Capital, I argue how different mediums, authors and audiences developed Batman’s cultural capital, Bourdieu’s Theory of Capital concerned with the ways in which consumers of cultural goods use said goods as markers of status, and how these ideological markers are constructed through social conditions. The chapter concludes with a depiction of how the world of Gotham has become embedded in Western popular culture via the aforementioned graphic novels, and the media inspired by them, such as Nolan’s trilogy of films and the Arkham Asylum video games. Batman has become a symbol of both the bourgeoisie and the proletariat alike, representing our fears in regards to change, urbanisation and class.
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