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Nehrlich, Thomas and Joanna Nowotny. "“We’re not fighting for the people anymore … We’re just fighting”: US-American Superhero Comics between Criticisms of Community and Critical Communities." SPELL 35 2017. Accessed 10 Aug. 2020. <>. 
Added by: joachim (8/10/20, 11:22 AM)   Last edited by: joachim (8/10/20, 11:27 AM)
Resource type: Web Article
Language: en: English
Peer reviewed
DOI: 10.5169/seals-737597
BibTeX citation key: Nehrlich2017
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Categories: General
Keywords: "Civil War", "The Dark Knight Returns", "Watchmen", Gibbons. Dave, Millar. Mark, Miller. Frank, Moore. Alan, Superhero, United Kingdom, USA
Creators: Nehrlich, Nowotny
Collection: SPELL
Views: 5/459
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From its creation in the late 1930s onwards, the figure of the superhero has become increasingly ambiguous and problematic. Especially in two crucial periods of recent history – the height of the Cold War in the 1980s as well as after 9/11 – superheroes are presented as precarious, dubious characters that have lost the ability to fulfill traditional heroic functions such as conveying social norms and moral values, and regulating the use of violence. To reinforce their social relevance and to reestablish their bond with the (usually US-American) community, modern superhero narratives focus on the very relationship of superheroes and the population. Seminal publications of the genre such as Alan Moore's Watchmen (1986/87), Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns (1986) and Mark Millar's Civil War (2006/07) open up a discussion of what heroism means and how it relates to 'ordinary' people. In them, the question arises if superheroes are even capable of speaking for their communities. Analyzing the relationship between superheroes and their communities contributes to understanding how superhero narratives have become a hugely influential medium of social debate.
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