Zullo, Valentino L. "J.H. Williams III’s Batwoman and the depth of the surface. Visualizing a new definition of identity as embedded in the skin." In: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics 5.2 (2014), S. 137–153.
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|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Zullo2014
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Keywords: "Batman", Body, Psychoanalysis, Superhero, USA, Williams III. J.H.
Collection: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics
Hillary Chute suggests ‘if comics is about mapping, it is also about bodies – about locating them in space and time’. If scholars envision comics as body narratives, we must also consider that which covers the body: the skin. This article offers a reading of J.H. Williams III’s work on the contemporary DC Comics series Detective Comics and Batwoman, exploring a new vision of the subject and its mapped presence on the surface of the body. These narratives embedded in the surface avoid the disjuncture between sign and signifier in categorizations of identity as various performances retain a presence on the skin. Thus, without denying the performative nature of identity, this article explores the after-effects of the performance – how its palimpsestic presence maps time and space onto the surface of the material body. Furthermore, by turning to skin, the materiality of the body is brought into focus without reducing our discussion to biology; instead the self is found in the folds of skin, where the biological and the social meet.
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