Posted by: Doc Comics | July 17, 2010

Week 2: Dark Aegis

1986 was the 1984 of superhero comics dystopias!

First up for Superhero Summer Week 2 is the X-Men “Dark Phoenix Saga” (background and reflection questions here) wherein we’ll begin exploring some gender differences in superhero comics.  We next look at two “graphic novels” that would redefine and deconstruct the superhero genre: Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns” (more here) and Alan Moore’s “The Watchmen” (discussion questions here).  In addition to surveying The Power of Comics, we will also be contemplating Postmodernism and postmodernity and how that impacts our definitional schema for superheroes.

UPDATE: A neat meditation on The Phoenix as Death Drive in X3, and the Marvel men all a’tremblin’ at her power.  For fun, wanna see a fanboy with a bibliography take on Coogan’s definition of a superhero? Finally, yes, Alan Moore is really done with superheroes.



  1. I never tire of that brief Vanity Fair article from 2008! Brilliant explanation/modernization of the significance and crosshairs that comics finds itself, that being between consumerism and mythology.

  2. As we head into our Watchman discussion, I’d like to throw out this article about how Alan Moore says he’s “over the superhero.”

    “I’ve had some distancing thoughts about them recently. I’ve come to the conclusion that what superheroes might be – in their current incarnation, at least – is a symbol of American reluctance to involve themselves in any kind of conflict without massive tactical superiority,” Moore said. “I think this is the same whether you have the advantage of carpet bombing from altitude or if you come from the planet Krypton as a baby and have increased powers in Earth’s lower gravity.”

    What do you think, fellow comicbookers?

  3. and here’s the link:

  4. Also really interesting:

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