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Burke, Liam, Ian Gordon, and Angela Ndalianis, eds. The Superhero Symbol: Media, culture, and politics. New Brunswick: Rutgers Univ. Press, 2020. 
Added by: joachim (6/6/19, 6:36 PM)   Last edited by: joachim (4/23/20, 10:42 AM)
Resource type: Book
Language: en: English
ID no. (ISBN etc.): 978-0-8135-9717-1
BibTeX citation key: Burke2020
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Categories: General
Keywords: Collection of essays, Superhero, USA
Creators: Burke, Gordon, Ndalianis
Publisher: Rutgers Univ. Press (New Brunswick)
Views: 10/829
“As a man, I'm flesh and blood, I can be ignored, I can be destroyed; but as a symbol … as a symbol I can be incorruptible, I can be everlasting”. In the 2005 reboot of the Batman film franchise, Batman Begins, Bruce Wayne articulates how the figure of the superhero can serve as a transcendent icon.
It is hard to imagine a time when superheroes have been more pervasive in our culture. Today, superheroes are intellectual property jealously guarded by media conglomerates, icons co-opted by grassroots groups as a four-color rebuttal to social inequities, masks people wear to more confidently walk convention floors and city streets, and bulletproof banners that embody regional and national identities. From activism to cosplay, this collection unmasks the symbolic function of superheroes.
Bringing together superhero scholars from a range of disciplines, alongside key industry figures such as Harley Quinn co-creator Paul Dini, The Superhero Symbol provides fresh perspectives on how characters like Captain America, Iron Man, and Wonder Woman have engaged with media, culture, and politics, to become the “everlasting” symbols to which a young Bruce Wayne once aspired.

Table of Contents

Liam Burke: Introduction: “Everlasting” Symbols: Unmasking superheroes and their shifting symbolic function

Section 1: Superheroes, Politics, and Civic Engagement
1. Henry Jenkins: “What Else Can You Do With Them?”: Superheroes and the Civic Imagination
2. Neal Curtis: “America Is A Piece of Trash”: Captain America, Patriotism, Nationalism, and Fascism
3. Jason Bainbridge: “This Land is Mine!” Understanding the Function of Supervillains
Interview 1: Comics artist, writer, and “herstorian” Trina Robbins

Section 2: The Superhero as a Brand
4. Mitchell Adams: The Secret Commercial Identity of Superheroes: Protecting the Superhero Symbol
5. Ian Gordon: Siegel and Shuster as Brand Name
6. Tara Lomax: Practicing Superhuman Law: Creative License, Industrial Identity, and Spider-Man’s Homecoming
7. Dan Golding: The sound of the cinematic superhero
Interview 2: Former President of DC Entertainment Diane Nelson

Section 3: Becoming the Superhero
8. ­­­­­­­­­Steven Conway: Arkham Knave: The Joker in Game Design
9. Claire Langsford: Being Super, Becoming Heroes: Dialogic Superhero Narratives in Cosplay Collectives
10. Vladislav Iouchkov and John McGuire: “From Pages to Pavements”: A Criminological Comparison Between Depictions of Crime Control in Superhero Narratives and “Real-Life Superhero” Activity
Interview 3: Dark Night: A True Batman Story writer Paul Dini

Section 4: Superheroes and National Identity
11. Naja Later: Captain America, National Narratives, and the Queer Subversion of the Retcon
12. Liam Burke: Apes, Angels, and Super Patriots: The Irish in Superhero Comics
13. Paul M. Malone: Missing in Action: The Late Development of the German-Speaking Superhero
14. Shan Mu Zhao: Chinese Milk for Iron Men: Superhero Coproductions and Technological Anxiety
15. Kevin Patrick: Age of the Atoman: Australian Superhero Comics and Cold War Modernity
Interview 4: Cleverman creator Ryan Griffen and star Hunter Page-Lochard

Notes on the Editors
Notes on Contributors

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