Pitkethly, Clare: "The pursuit of identity in the face of paradox. Indeterminacy, structure and repetition in Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman." In: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics 3.2 (2012), S. 215–221.
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|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Pitkethly2012
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Keywords: "Batman", "Superman", "Wonder Woman", Identity, Narratology, Superhero, USA
Collection: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics
Superhero narrative is structured by an opposition, or by the recurrent conflict between the hero and the villain. The protagonist comes head to head with his logical antithesis, and in this way, his identity is delimited: or in other words, he is that which the villain is not. The intention of this paper is to consider this narrative conflict; and to demonstrate the enactment of identity in the face of structural indeterminacy. In order to demonstrate this problem, several analogous structures will be considered: namely, those of comic book form, postcolonial America and the Superheroes Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. All will be viewed in terms of a schism or a split: they will be shown to be simultaneously one thing and its opposite, or subject to an undecidability. They cross a logical boundary and resist simple identity; and it is precisely this uncertainty that Superhero narrative, arguably, serves to address. The recurrent conflict between hero and villain repetitively enacts an unbreachable boundary, and thus, the Superhero would seem to narratively overcome the indeterminacy of the text.
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