Batman and the Multiplicity of Identity: The Contemporary Comic Book Superhero as Cultural Nexus

1st Edition

Jeffrey A. Brown

Routledge
January 7, 2019 Forthcoming
Reference - 260 Pages - 21 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138302853 - CAT# Y366310
Series: Routledge Advances in Comics Studies

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Summary

Concentrating primarily on contemporary depictions of Batman in the comic books, this book analyzes why Batman is so immensely popular right now in America and globally, and how the fictional Dark Knight reveals both new cultural concerns and longstanding beliefs about American values. The organizing premise is that while Batman is perceived as a very clearly defined character, he is open to a wide range of interpretations and depictions in the comics (what Henry Jenkins refers to as "multiplicities"), each of which allows access to different cultural issues. The idea of Batman functions as an anchoring point out of which multiple Batmen, or Batman-like characters, can occupy different positions: Grim Batman, Gay Batman, Female Batman, Black Batman, Cute Batman, and so on. Each iteration opens up a discussion of different cultural issues pertinent to modern society, such as sexuality, ethnicity, feminism and familial relationships.

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