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Paladin, Nicola: "The Participation of Will Eisner’s The Spirit in World War II." In: Dialogues between Media. Hrsg. v. Paul Ferstl. (The Many Languages of Comparative Literature / La littérature comparée: multiples langues, multiples langages / Die vielen Sprachen der Vergleichenden Literaturwissenschaft, 5.) 2021, S. 33–46. 
Added by: joachim (01/11/2021 08:21:25 PM)   Last edited by: joachim (02/28/2021 10:56:44 AM)
Resource type: Book Article
Languages: English
DOI: 10.1515/9783110642056-005
BibTeX citation key: Paladin2021
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Categories: General
Keywords: "The Spirit", Eisner. Will, Nazism, Superhero, USA, War
Creators: Ferstl, Paladin
Collection: Dialogues between Media
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This article considers one of the first models for the superhero tradition in American comics. Among his most distinctive traits, the Spirit’s patriotic aura tends to move against the background of his persona. However, openly or not, from the first few publications of The Spirit, Will Eisner often alludes to the historical context of the time, in particular the possibility that the US might intervene in World War II. As the article discusses, although the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor can be identified as the turning point in Will Eisner’s attitude to World War II, it is arguable that a strong anti-Nazi feeling, as well as pro-American intervention propaganda, constitutes a recurrent subtext throughout the adventures of the Spirit. The article highlights the significant metaphorical and factual references, characters, and settings related to World War II in the adventures of the Spirit. Thus, the Spirit can be considered as the connecting element between the imaginary Central City and the battlegrounds of World War II: a concrete enemy and an evil personification of Nazism were transposed into comics in order to better shape the fictional enemies of the vigilante hero.
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