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What Is a Superhero?

ISBN-10: 0199795274
ISBN-13: 9780199795277
Edition: 2013
List price: $24.95
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Description: What is a superhero? Everyone knows, right? And yet everyone seems to have a different answer. If asked, most people will say that a superhero is a fictional character with "superhuman" abilities or powers - and one who uses those abilities for the  More...

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Book details

List price: $24.95
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 7/30/2013
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 224
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.880
Language: English

What is a superhero? Everyone knows, right? And yet everyone seems to have a different answer. If asked, most people will say that a superhero is a fictional character with "superhuman" abilities or powers - and one who uses those abilities for the common good. Some might add that superheroes wear costumes. But this is only part of the story. In this innovative collection of essays, renowned psychologist Robin Rosenberg and comics scholar Peter Coogan explore the question "What is a superhero?" from a variety of viewpoints. What is the role of power and superpower? Heroism? The environment? How is the superhero a metaphor? Perhaps most intriguing, what are supervillains and why do we need them? These and many other fascinating topics are taken up in this exciting new book. With essays from scholars and commentary by the writers and creators themselves, including exclusive material from Stan Lee, Danny Fingeroth, and their peers, What is a Superhero? is the first volume to provide a true synthesis and reflection of the state of superheroes in our culture today.

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Super and Hero: Powers and Mission
Section Introduction
The Hero Defines the Genre, the Genre Defines the Hero
We Could Be Heroes
What Is a Female Superhero?
Straddling a Boundary: The Superhero and the Incorporation of Difference
Save the Day
Context, Culture, and the Problem of Definition
Section Introduction
Superheroes and the Modern(ist) Age
Heroes of the Superculture
Superheroes by Design
The Experience of the Superhero: A Phenomenological Definition
What Is a Superhero? No One Knows-That's What Makes 'em Great
Superheroes Need Supervillains
Section Introduction
Why Supervillains?
Superheroes Need Supervillains
Superheroes Need Superior Villains
The Subjective Politics of the Supervillain
Supervillains Who Need Superheroes (Are the Luckiest Villains in the World)
Sorting Out Villainy: A Typology of Villains and Their Effects on Superheroes
From the Experts: Comic Book Writers Define the Superhero
Section Introduction
More Than Normal, But Believable
Making the World a Better Place
Power and Responsibility … and Other Reflections on Superheroes
Superheroes and Power
The Importance of Context: Robin Hood Is Out and Buffy Is In
Superheroes Are Made
Extraordinary
The Superprotagonist
Superheroes and Supervillains: An Interdependent Relationship
Index

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