Sanil, Merin: "From Gods to superheroes. An analysis of Indian comics through a mythological lens." In: Continuum 31.2 (2017), S. 285–295.
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|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Sanil2017
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Keywords: Campbell. Joseph, India, Jung. Carl Gustav, Myth, Psychoanalysis, Superhero
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Heroes form a part of most cultures, serving various social and psychological functions. Scholars studying the concept of heroes have emphasized that humans crave heroes. While Western comics have been widely studied and critiqued, Indian comics have not received much scholarly attention. In order to contribute theoretically to hero and superhero literature, the conceptions of the popular cultural trope of superheroes in Western and Indian comics are examined in three ways. First, this article gives an account of the conceptualization of Indian superheroes, through a mythological-religious lens, and attempts to explain why Indian comics and its superheroes failed to achieve the popularity enjoyed by Western counterparts. Second, as characters from Hindu mythology largely make up the superheroes in Indian comics, the applicability of Campbell’s models of mythology and heroes, and Jungian archetypes to Hindu mythology is demonstrated. Third, the article also analyses the functional similarities and differences served by superhero comics in the West and Hindu mythology in India; conclusions about their cultural relevance are drawn.
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