All New, All Different?: A History of Race and the American Superhero

All New, All Different?: A History of Race and the American Superhero


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Taking a multifaceted approach to attitudes toward race through popular culture and the American superhero, All New, All Different? explores a topic that until now has only received more discrete examination. Considering Marvel, DC, and lesser-known texts and heroes, this illuminating work charts eighty years of evolution in the portrayal of race in comics as well as in film and on television.Beginning with World War II, the authors trace the vexed depictions in early superhero stories, considering both Asian villains and nonwhite sidekicks. While the emergence of Black Panther, Black Lightning, Luke Cage, Storm, and other heroes in the 1960s and 1970s reflected a cultural revolution, the book reveals how nonwhite superheroes nonetheless remained grounded in outdated assumptions. Multiculturalism encouraged further diversity, with 1980s superteams, the minority-run company Milestone’s new characters in the 1990s, and the arrival of Ms. Marvel, a Pakistani-American heroine, and a new Latinx Spider-Man in the 2000s. Concluding with a discussion of contemporary efforts to make both a profit and a positive impact on society, All New, All Different? enriches our understanding of the complex issues of racial representation in American popular culture.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781477318973
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication date: 11/05/2019
Series: World Comics and Graphic Nonfiction Series
Pages: 392
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Allan W. AustinDallas, PennsylvaniaAustin is a professor of history at Misericordia University. He is the author of two previous books, Quaker Brotherhood: Interracial Activism and the American Friends Service Committee, 1917–1950 and From Concentration Camp to Campus: Japanese American Students and World War II. In addition, he served as co-editor of Asian American History and Culture: An Encyclopedia and Space and Time: Essays on Visions of History in Science Fiction and Fantasy Television.Patrick L. Hamilton Dallas, PennsylvaniaHamilton is an associate professor of English at Misericordia University. He is the author of Of Space and Mind: Cognitive Mappings of Contemporary Chicano/a Fiction. He has also published on Los Bros Hernandez, The Walking Dead, and Westworld.

Table of Contents

List of IllustrationsAcknowledgmentsIntroduction: Into the “Gutters”1. “World’s Finest”? The Wartime Superhero and Race, 1941–19452. Struggling for Social Relevance: DC, Marvel, and the Cold War, 1945–19653. “We’re All Brothers!”: The Ideal of Liberal Brotherhood in the 1960s and 1970s4. Guess Who’s Coming to Save You? The Rise of the Ethnic Superhero in the 1960s and 1970s5. “Something for Everyone”: The Superteam in the Age of Multiculturalism, 1975–19966. Replacement Heroes and the Quest for Inclusion, 1985–20117. Something Old, Something New: Heroes Reborn and Reimagined, 1990–2015Coda: Born Again (and Again and Again .?.?. and Again and Again .?.?.)NotesBibliographyIndex

What People are Saying About This

Lan Dong

"All New, All Different? discusses not only mainstream superhero comics from Marvel and DC but also lesser-known texts over a long time span. In addition to examining African American superheroes, it also critically engages with Asian/Asian American, Native American, and Latinx characters. Its comprehensive coverage will make a meaningful contribution to the growing field of comic studies.

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