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Gavaler, Chris. "The Ku Klux Klan and the birth of the superhero." Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics 4. (2013): 191–208. 
Added by: joachim (2/21/13, 11:19 AM)   Last edited by: joachim (8/22/15, 7:10 AM)
Resource type: Journal Article
Language: en: English
Peer reviewed
DOI: 10.1080/21504857.2012.747976
BibTeX citation key: Gavaler2013
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Categories: General
Keywords: Critique of ideology, Ethnicity, Intertextuality, Literature, Superhero, USA
Creators: Gavaler
Collection: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics
Views: 47/816
Thomas Dixon Jr’s Ben Cameron, aka the Grand Dragon, represents the earliest twentieth-century incarnation of an American vigilante hero who assumes a costume and alias to hide his identity while waging his war for good – the formula adopted most famously by Siegel and Shuster for Superman. Dixon did not invent the figure of the costumed superhero; but the character type – as traced from The Clansman through The Birth of a Nation and the second Klan to pulp fiction and early comic books – is dependent on Dixon’s vision. The superhero, despite the character’s evolution into a champion of the oppressed, originated from an oppressive, racist impulse in American culture, and the formula codifies an ethics of vigilante extremism that still contradicts the superhero’s purported social mission.
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