Superman and Comic Book Brand Continuity traces the development of comic book continuity through the case study of Superman, examining the character’s own evolution across several media, including comics, radio, television, and film. Superman’s relationship with continuity illustrates a key feature of the way in which people in western societies construct stories about themselves. In this respect, the book is a study of narrative and how comic book continuity reflects the way that, in wider western post-enlightenment culture, storytelling shapes the common sense and received wisdoms that influence how we perceive "reality." The scope of the analysis extends from Superman’s creation in the late 1930s to the recent films Man of Steel (2013) and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), as well as the current comic book reboot Rebirth (2016).
Introduction: Why Study Superman?
1. Taming Superman: The Origins of Brand Continuity
2. Narrative Continuity and the Fantasy of Realism
3. Myth and the Man of Steel: Identifying Superman’s Worst Enemy
4. Superman v. Superman: Corporate Innovation and the Resistance of Cultural Continuity
Conclusion: The Once and Future Superman?
Routledge Advances in Comics Studies promotes outstanding research on comics and graphic novels from communication theory, rhetorical theory and media studies perspectives. Additionally, the series aims to bring European, Asian, African, and Latin American comics scholarship to the English speaking world. The series includes monographs and themed anthologies. Comics Studies is a recently established and rapidly evolving field with much exciting research still to be done, and Routledge Advances in Comics Studies is dedicated to furthering the understanding of comics as an art form and a medium of communication.