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Hot Pants and Spandex Suits

Gender Representation in American Superhero Comic Books

Esther De Dauw (author)

ISBN: 9781978806030

Publication Date: Nov 2020

Format: Paperback

Also available as: Hardback  

Looks at representations of gender and its intersection with sexuality and race through the figure of the superhero. The book places superheroes in their socio-historical context, particularly those published by the "Big Two" publishers in the industry: Marvel and DC.
£25.50

Temporarily out of stock: usually despatched in 10-14 days

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The superheroes from DC and Marvel comics are some of the most iconic characters in popular culture today. But how do these figures idealize certain gender roles, body types, sexualities, and racial identities at the expense of others?
 
Hot Pants and Spandex Suits offers a far-reaching look at how masculinity and femininity have been represented in American superhero comics, from the Golden and Silver Ages to the Modern Age. Scholar Esther De Dauw contrasts the bulletproof and musclebound phallic bodies of classic male heroes like Superman, Captain America, and Iron Man with the figures of female counterparts like Wonder Woman and Supergirl, who are drawn as superhumanly flexible and plastic. It also examines the genre's ambivalent treatment of LGBTQ representation, from the presentation of gay male heroes Wiccan and Hulkling as a model minority couple to the troubling association of Batwoman's lesbianism with monstrosity. Finally, it explores the intersection between gender and race through case studies of heroes like Luke Cage, Storm, and Ms. Marvel.
 
Hot Pants and Spandex Suits is a fascinating and thought-provoking consideration of what superhero comics teach us about identity, embodiment, and sexuality.
Illustrations 4 black & white images, 22 colour images
Pages 216
Dimensions 235 x 156
Date Published 30 Nov 2020
Publisher Rutgers University Press
Subject/s Literary studies: general   Anthologies (non-poetry)   Literary companions   Popular culture   Gender studies, gender groups   Fiction   Illustration & commercial art   Ethnic studies  
Esther De Dauw is a UK based Comics Scholar who works on superheroes, gender and race. She has published in The Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, contributed a chapter to the edited volume Unstable Masks: Whiteness and American Superhero Comics, edited by Sean Guyness and Martin Lund, and was the main editor for the Toxic Masculinity: Mapping the Monstrous in our Heroes volume.

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