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Death, Disability, and the Superhero: The Silver Age and Beyond

Alaniz, Josť

Published by University Press of Mississippi
ISBN 10: 1496804538 / ISBN 13: 9781496804532
New / Soft cover / Quantity Available: 1
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About the Book

Bibliographic Details

Title: Death, Disability, and the Superhero: The ...

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi

Binding: Soft cover

Book Condition: New


The first full-length examination of the evolving superhero through the lens of disability studies Num Pages: 376 pages, , black & white illustrations. BIC Classification: FZG; JFCA; JHBZ. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 231 x 154 x 34. Weight in Grams: 582. . 2015. Reprint. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9781496804532

About this title:


The Thing. Daredevil. Captain Marvel. The Human Fly. Drawing on DC and Marvel comics from the 1950s to the 1990s and marshaling insights from three burgeoning fields of inquiry in the humanities--disability studies, death and dying studies, and comics studies--José Alaniz seeks to redefine the contemporary understanding of the superhero. Beginning in the Silver Age, the genre increasingly challenged and complicated its hypermasculine, quasi-eugenicist biases through such disabled figures as Ben Grimm/The Thing, Matt Murdock/Daredevil, and the Doom Patrol.

Alaniz traces how the superhero became increasingly vulnerable, ill, and mortal in this era. He then proceeds to a reinterpretation of characters and series--some familiar (Superman), some obscure (She-Thing). These genre changes reflected a wider awareness of related body issues in the postwar United States as represented by hospice, death with dignity, and disability rights movements. The persistent highlighting of the body's "imperfection" comes to forge a predominant aspect of the superheroic self. Such moves, originally part of the Silver Age strategy to stimulate sympathy, enhance psychological depth, and raise the dramatic stakes, developed further in such later series as The Human Fly, Strikeforce: Morituri, and the landmark graphic novel The Death of Captain Marvel, all examined in this volume. Death and disability, presumed routinely absent or denied in the superhero genre, emerge to form a core theme and defining function of the Silver Age and beyond.

About the Author:

José Alaniz, Seattle, Washington, is associate professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Washington-Seattle. He is the author of Komiks: Comic Art in Russia (published by University Press of Mississippi).

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