Posted by: Doc Comics | October 3, 2011

Nostalgia for MARVELS: Week 6

Finishing our exploration of “The Myth of the American Superhero,” we will examine Lawrence & Jewett’s critique of crusading fascism, redemptive violence, and the anti-democratic invitations of monomythic credotainment. In class, we’ll balance this critique with our other readings as we ponder more egalitarian and democratic possibilities of a “Better World” that comic book superheroes may reflexively offer thanks to the ‘multiplicity‘ that Jenkins posits.

The Grim-and-Gritty 90s ‘Dark Age’ would spark a nostalgic Renaissance from creators and fans yearning for a return to superheroic nobility. The readings for this week and next, MARVELS and KINGDOM COME, are works that are a very deliberate interrogation of the ends and means, meanings and values championed by superheroes during cynical times. As the comics take a Postmodern Turn of critical reflexivity, so too shall we consider how superheroes reflect, adapt, and respond to changing cultural conditions and challenges… sometimes for better or worse.


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