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Superhero Culture Wars

Politics Marketing and Social Justice in Marvel Comics

Monica Flegel Judith Leggatt



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11 March 2021
Series: Marvel
The reactionary Comicsgate campaign against alleged forced diversity in superhero comics revealed the extent to which comics have become a key battleground in America's Culture Wars. In the first in-depth scholarly study of Marvel Comics' most recent engagement with progressive politics, Superhero Culture Wars explores how the drive towards greater diversity among its characters and creators has interacted with the company's commercial marketing and its traditional fan base.

Along the way the book covers such topics as:

* Major characters such as Miles Morales's Spider-man, Kamala Khan's Ms. Marvel, Jane Foster's Thor, Sam Wilson's Captain America and the Secret Empire series' turncoat Captain America * Creators such as G. Willow Wilson, Jason Aaron, Nick Spencer and Michael Bendis * Marketing, the Marvel Universe, and online fan culture Superhero Culture Wars demonstrates how the marketing of Marvel comics as politically progressive has both indelibly shaped its in-world universe and characters, and led to conflicts between its corporate interests, its creators, and it audience.
By:   Monica Flegel, Judith Leggatt
Imprint:   Bloomsbury
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 156mm, 
Weight:   472g
ISBN:   9781350148635
ISBN 10:   1350148636
Series:   Marvel
Pages:   208
Publication Date:   11 March 2021
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Primary
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Judith Leggatt and Monica Flegel are Associate Professors of English at Lakehead University, Canada.

Reviews for Superhero Culture Wars: Politics Marketing and Social Justice in Marvel Comics

With its starting point that superhero comics are and have always been political, Superhero Culture Wars is a welcome examination of Marvel's moves toward diversifying its characters in the 2010s. It illuminates not only the tensions between fans and storytellers, but also the tensions inherent in a company's neoliberal strategy of marketing its products and itself as progressive in order to increase its profits. -- Carolyn Cocca, author of Eisner Award-winning Superwomen: Gender, Power, and Representation (Bloomsbury 2016), SUNY College at Old Westbury, USA Blatino Spidey. Muslim-American Ms. Marvel. Queer teen Hulk. For some, these and other superhero reincarnations ring the death knell to Western civilization. For others, they reflect a vitally attentive response to today's social make-up and the spirit of our times. With dazzling scholarly dexterity, Monica Flegel and Judith Leggatt take us on the rollercoaster ride of Marvel Comics: how its socio-politically alert contemporary stories entertain, incite incendiary debate, reveal deep sociopolitical chasms, and act as agents of change. Superhero Culture Wars forcefully reminds: Comics matter! -- Frederick Luis Aldama, Eisner Award winning scholar and Distinguished University Professor, Ohio State University, USA

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