Posted by: Doc Comics | September 26, 2013

Superhero Fascism?


“When fascism comes to America,” Sinclair Lewis wrote in 1935, “it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”  It’s also a claim that can be traced to Dr. Fredric Wertham‘s scathing 1940s critique of the superhero: these superpowered vigilantes are a thinly-veiled celebration of antidemocratic sentiments and fascist values.  Lawrence & Jewett put an updated twist on this harsh condemnation when they posit the Superhero Monomyth as a dominant trope in American entertainment and technomythic politics, one which perpetuates a messianic faith in political saviors and the Redemptive Violence of outlaw vigilante crusaders or feminized Heidi Redeemers.  As they develop their argument, a few questions for reflection:

  1. In “Lethal Patriots Break the Rhythm,” what modifications to the American Superhero Monomyth are identified as particularly corrosive? How does a corrupted community and sexual segmentation rationalize aggressive masculinity on behalf of a feminized public?What examples…

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