Essays on the Social, Cultural and Geopolitical Domains
The Marvel Cinematic Universe—comprised of films, broadcast television and streaming series and digital shorts—has generated considerable fan engagement with its emphasis on socially relevant characters and plots.
Beyond considerable box office achievements, the success of Marvel’s movie studios has opened up dialogue on... [click here for more]
Marvel Studios’ approach to its Cinematic Universe—beginning with the release of Iron Man (2008)—has become the template for successful management of blockbuster film properties. Yet films featuring Marvel characters can be traced back to the 1940s, when the Captain America serial first appeared on the screen.
This collection of new essays is the first to explore the historical,... [click here for more]
First appearing in Marvel Comics in the 1960s, Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. Black Widow, was introduced to movie audiences in Iron Man 2 (2010).
Her character has grown in popularity with subsequent Marvel films, and fans have been vocal about wanting to see Black Widow in a titular role. Romanoff has potent appeal: a strong female character who is not defined by her looks or her romantic relationships,... [click here for more]
Persia had Rostam. Babylonia had Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Egypt had Horus and Isis. Greece had Odysseus and Achilles.
Israel had its heroes, too—Moses, David, Esther and Samson. While Israel’s heroes did not wear capes or spandex, they did meet cultural needs.
In times of crisis, heroes emerge to model virtues that inspire a sense of commitment and worth. Identity concerns were especially... [click here for more]
The heroine's journey echoes throughout ancient legend. Each young woman combats her dark side and emerges stronger. This quest is also a staple of American comic books. Wonder Woman with semi-divine powers gives us a new female-centered creation story. Batgirl, Batwoman and Black Widow discover their enemy is the dark mother or shadow twin, with the savagery they've rejected in themselves. Supergirl... [click here for more]
Since her first appearance in 1992, Harley Quinn—eccentric sidekick to the Joker—has captured the attention of readers like few new characters have in eight decades of Batman comics. Her bubbly yet malicious persona has earned her a loyal and growing fan base as she has crossed over into television, theater, video games, and film.
In this collection of new essays, contributors explore... [click here for more]
Superheroes have been an integral part of popular society for decades and have given rise to a collective mythology familiar in popular culture worldwide.
Though scholars and fans have recognized and commented on this mythology, its structure has gone largely unexplored. This book provides a model and lexicon for identifying the superhero mythos.
The author examines the myth in several narratives--including... [click here for more]