Over the last several decades, comic book superheroes have multiplied and, in the process, become more complicated. In this cutting edge anthology an international roster of contributors offer original research and writing on the contemporary comic book superhero, with occasional journeys into the film and television variation. As superheroes and their stories have grown with the audiences that consume them, their formulas, conventions, and narrative worlds have altered to follow suit, injecting new, unpredictable and more challenging characterizations that engage ravenous readers who increasingly demand more.
'Angela Ndalianis's collection leaves no cape unfurled.' - M/C Reviews
'[A] genre-warping collection of essays… plenty of fanlike enthusiasm fuels these writers as they explore fascinating notions of time, space, identity, and colonialism inspired by superhero comics' colorful and disposable delights.' - The Village Voice, Sound of the City blog
I "That’s the Problem with You Readers, You Know All the Plots": Genre and Narration 1. Introduction: Men in Tights - Angela Ndalianis 2. ‘Just Men in Tights’: Rewriting Silver Age Comics in an Era of Multiplicity — Henry Jenkins 3. The Time of Heroes: Narrative, Progress and Eternity in Miracleman — Paul Atkinson 4. ‘Worlds Within Worlds’: The Role of Superheroes in the Marvel and DC Universes — Jason Bainbridge 5. Baroque Mutants in the 21st Century? Re-thinking Genre through the Superhero — Saige Walton II "We act normal, mom! I want to be normal!": Superbodies, Identity and Meaning Production 6. Secret Identity Politics — Scott Bukatman 7. The Superhero as Labor: The Secret Corporate Identity — Greg M. Smith 8. The Mild-Mannered Reporter: How Clark Kent Surpassed Superman — Vanessa Russell 9. Recruiting an Amazon: The Collision of Old World Ideology and New World Identity — Clare Pitkethly 10. ‘Oy Gevalt!’: A Peek at the Development of Jewish Superheroines — Jennifer Dowling III "I’m Just a Puppet Who Can See the Strings": Revisions, Auteurs and Anti-Superheroes 11. Entering the Green: Imaginal Space in Black Orchid — Sallye Sheppeard 12. It’s a Jungle in Here: Animal Man, Continuity Issues and the Authorial Death Drive — Steven Zani 13. Morrison’s Muscle Mystery versus Everyday Reality… and Other Parallel Worlds! — Martyn Pedler 14. Painted Bodies of Page and Screen: Alex Ross and the Renaissance of Cinematic Superheroes – Bob Rehak 15. Enter the Aleph: Superhero Worlds and Hypertime Realities — Angela Ndalianis