Heroes of Film, Comics and American Culture

Essays on Real and Fictional Defenders of Home

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About the Book

These essays consider the way that heroes and the domestic spaces they defend have been represented in 20th and early 21st century popular forms, especially film, comic books and material culture. The authors work in various academic disciplines such as English, film studies, history and human geography, thus bringing a rich variety of theoretical vantage points to the reader in a single collection.
Topics covered include Tales of Suspense, Captain America, gender and popular culture during World War II, Iron Man and the military-industrial complex, Batman, Xena: Warrior Princess, The Ring, Ridley Scott, and many others.

About the Author(s)

Lisa M. DeTora lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Lisa M. DeTora
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 347
Bibliographic Info: 37 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3827-3
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5143-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v

Introduction: Real Americans, Heroes, and Home Fronts

LISA DETORA      1

1. “A Labyrinth Without a Clew”: Husbands, Houses and Harpies in Richard Matheson’s The Shrinking Man and Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves

DARA DOWNEY      17

2. Beautiful Results: Whitman’s Democratic Vision and the Evolution of America in Michael Cunningham’s Specimen Days

ANDREW SCHOPP      40

3. Defending the Heartland: Technology and the Future in The Phantom Empire (1935)

CYNTHIA J. MILLER      61

4. Temporary Heroes “In the Service of Mars”: Women in Uniform, Factories, and the Kitchen during World War II

HEATHER MOLYNEAUX      77

5. Fighting for Home: Masculinity and the Constitution of the Domestic in Tales of Suspense and Captain America

JASON DITTMER      96

6. “Axe the Axis” and “Bombers Aloft”: Militaristic Play During the Second World War

LISA L. OSSIAN      117

7. To Protect and to Threaten: Gary Cooper and the Gender Politics of High Noon (1952)

STEVEN T. SHEEHAN      134

8. Hero of the Military-Industrial Complex: Reading Iron Man Through Burke’s Dramatism

RONALD C. THOMAS, JR.      152

9. Professional Killers at Home: Domesticity and the Deregulated Subject

LACHLAN MACDOWALL      167

10. The Teacher as Hero: Representations in Late Cold War Film and Culture

LEAH SADYKOV      181

11. Terrorist, Technocrat, and Feudal Lord: Batman in Comic Book and Film Adaptations

MARC EDWARD DIPAOLO      194

12. Knocked Up, Not Knocked Out: Xena: Warrior Princess, Pregnant Action Hero

MARY JO LODGE      218

13. The Naked Hero and Model Man: Costumed Identity in Comic Book Narratives

DAVID COUGHLAN      234

14. Mommy, Baby, Ghost: The Technological Chain Letter and the Nuclear Family in The Ring

CHUCK ROBINSON      253

15. Waking Up the Mythic American Neo

JAYSON BAKER      268

16. Ridley Scott’s Epics: Gender of Violence

DANIELLE GLASSMEYER      281

17. “Real Americans”: Inclusion, Difference, and Tolerance in Post 9/11 Nationalist Discourse

RANDY COTA      301

Afterword

MALIA K. DU MONT      315

For Further Reading—TEEVRAT GARG      319

About the Contributors      323

Index      329