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Rosenberg, Robin S. and Peter Coogan, eds. What is a Superhero? New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 2013. 
Added by: joachim (5/13/14, 6:13 PM)   Last edited by: joachim (6/14/19, 2:57 PM)
Resource type: Book
Language: en: English
ID no. (ISBN etc.): 9780199795277
BibTeX citation key: Rosenberg2013a
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Categories: General
Keywords: Collection of essays, Superhero, USA
Creators: Coogan, Rosenberg
Publisher: Oxford Univ. Press (New York)
Views: 74/969
It’s easy to name a superhero—Superman, Batman, Thor, Spiderman, the Green Lantern, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Rorschach, Wolverine—but it’s not so easy to define what a superhero is. Buffy has superpowers, but she doesn’t have a costume. Batman has a costume, but doesn’t have superpowers. What is the role of power and superpower? And what are supervillains and why do we need them?
In What is a Superhero?, psychologist Robin Rosenberg and comics scholar Peter Coogan explore this question from a variety of viewpoints, bringing together contributions from nineteen comic book experts—including both scholars in such fields as cultural studies, art, and psychology as well as leading comic book writers and editors. What emerges is a kaleidoscopic portrait of this most popular of pop-culture figures. Writer Jeph Loeb, for instance, sees the desire to make the world a better place as the driving force of the superhero. Jennifer K. Stuller argues that the female superhero inspires women to stand up, be strong, support others, and most important, to believe in themselves. More darkly, A. David Lewis sees the indestructible superhero as the ultimate embodiment of the American “denial of death,” while writer Danny Fingeroth sees superheroes as embodying the best aspects of humankind, acting with a nobility of purpose that inspires us. Interestingly, Fingeroth also expands the definition of superhero so that it would include characters like John McClane of the Die Hard movies: “Once they dodge ridiculous quantities of machine gun bullets they're superheroes, cape or no cape.”

Table of Contents

Michael Uslan: Foreword (xi)
Acknowledgments (xv)
Robin Rosenberg and Peter Coogan: Introduction (xvii)

Part I. Super and Hero: Powers and Mission
1. Peter Coogan: The Hero Defines the Genre, the Genre Defines the Hero (3)
2. Will Brooker: We Could Be Heroes (11)
3. Jennifer Stuller: What is a Female Superhero? (19)
4. Clare Pitkelthy: Straddling a Boundary: The Superhero and the Incorporation of Difference (25)
5. A. David Lewis: Save the Day (31)

Part II. Context, Culture, and the Problem of Definition
6. Alex Boney: Superheroes and the Modern(ist) Age (43)
7. Richard Reynolds: Heroes of the Superculture (51)
8. John Jennings: Superheroes by Design (59)
9. Dana Anderson: The Experience of the Superhero: A Phenomenological Definition (65)
10. Geoff Klock: What is a Superhero? No One Knows—That’s What Makes ’em Great (71)

Part III. Villains
11. Paul Levitz: Why Supervillains? (79)
12. Frank Verano: Superheroes Need Supervillains (83)
13. Stanford Carpenter: Superheroes Need Superior Villains (89)
14. Chris Deis: The Subjective Politics of the Supervillain (95)
15. Andrew Smith: Supervillains Who Needs Superheroes (Are the Luckiest Villains in the World) (101)
16. Robin Rosenberg: Sorting Out Villainy: A Typology of Villains and Their Effects on Superheroes (107)

Part IV. Professionals Speak
17. Stan Lee: More Than Normal, But Believable (115)
18. Jeph Loeb: Making the World a Better Place (119)
19. Danny Fingeroth: Power and Responsibility … And Other Reflections on Superheroes (125)
20. Dennis O’Neil: Superheroes and Power (129)
21. Kurt Busiek: The Importance of Context: Robin Hood Is Out and Buffy Is In (133)
22. Tom DeFalco: Superheroes Are Made (139)
23. Joe Quesada: Extraordinary (147)
24. Fred Van Lente: The Superprotagonist (153)
25. Ivory Madison: Superheroes and Supervillains: An Interdependent Relationship (157)

Index (161)

Added by: joachim  Last edited by: joachim
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