Miettinen, Mervi: "Men of Steel? Rorschach, Theweleit, and Watchmen’s Deconstructed Masculinity." In: PS: Political Science and Politics 47.1 (2014), S. 104–107.
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|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Miettinen2014
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Keywords: "Watchmen", Deconstruction, Gender, Gibbons. Dave, Moore. Alan, Superhero, United Kingdom
Collection: PS: Political Science and Politics
Watchmen (1987), written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons, is a 12-part graphic novel that portrays real-life superheroes in a fictional United States of the 1980s. An alternate universe where ordinary people without superpowers were inspired by superhero comics and took on the crime-fighting in tights in the 1940s, the comic portrays an America vastly different from our reality. Since its publication more than two decades ago, the comic has been the subject of extensive study due to its breathtaking narrative structure as well as its acute deconstruction of the superhero genre itself. Indeed, one of the text’s most brutal deconstructions comes from the way it addresses superheroic masculinity, from the misogynistic vigilante Rorschach to the emasculated ex-hero Nite Owl. Through its cast of male heroes, Watchmen deconstructs the superhero genre by rewriting masculine tropes such as vigilantism and patriotism and by exposing the inherent contradictions within these gender-bound tropes from the fascist undercurrents of violent patriotism to the often-hinted sexual dysfunction of the costume-fetish variety.
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