What is a Superhero?

Hardcover | July 30, 2013

EditorRobin S. Rosenberg, Peter Coogan

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What is a superhero? Everyone knows, right? And yet everyone seems to have a different answer. If asked, most people will say that a superhero is a fictional character with "superhuman" abilities or powers - and one who uses those abilities for the common good. Some might add that superheroeswear costumes. But this is only part of the story.In this innovative collection of essays, renowned psychologist Robin Rosenberg and comics scholar Peter Coogan explore the question "What is a superhero?" from a variety of viewpoints. What is the role of power and superpower? Heroism? The environment? How is the superhero a metaphor? Perhaps mostintriguing, what are supervillains and why do we need them? These and many other fascinating topics are taken up in this exciting new book. With essays from scholars and commentary by the writers and creators themselves, including exclusive material from Stan Lee, Danny Fingeroth, and their peers,What is a Superhero? is the first volume to provide a true synthesis and reflection of the state of superheroes in our culture today.

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What is a superhero? Everyone knows, right? And yet everyone seems to have a different answer. If asked, most people will say that a superhero is a fictional character with "superhuman" abilities or powers - and one who uses those abilities for the common good. Some might add that superheroeswear costumes. But this is only part of the ...

Robin S. Rosenberg is a clinical psychologist. In addition to running a private practice, she writes about superheroes and the psychological phenomena their stories reveal. She is editor of Psychology of Superheroes and Our Superheroes, Ourselves. Peter Coogan is director of the Institute for Comics Studies, co-founder and co-chair of...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:July 30, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199795274

ISBN - 13:9780199795277

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Table of Contents

Michael Uslan: ForewordRobin Rosenberg and Peter Coogan: IntroductionPart I. Super and Hero: Powers and Mission1. Peter Coogan: The Hero Defines the Genre, the Genre Defines the Hero2. Will Brooker: We Could Be Heroes3. Jennifer Stuller: What is a Female Superhero?4. Clare Pitkelthy: Straddling a Boundary: The Superhero and the Incorporation of Difference5. A. David Lewis: Save the DayPart II. Context, Culture, and the Problem of Definition6. Alex Boney: Superheroes and the Modern(ist) Age7. Richard Reynolds: Heroes of the Superculture8. John Jennings: Superhero by Design9. Dana Anderson: The Experience of the Superhero: A Phenomenological Definition10. Geoff Klock: What is a Superhero? No One Knows: That's What Makes 'em GreatPart III. Villains11. Paul Levitz: Why Supervillains?12. Frank Verano: Superheroes Need Supervillains13. Stanford Carpenter: Superheroes Need Superior Villains14. Chris Deis: Super and Villain: A bad guy with superpowers15. Andrew Smith: Why the Villain Needs the Hero16. Robin Rosenberg: Sorting Out Villainy: A Typology of Villains and Their Effects on SuperheroesPart IV. Professionals Speak17. Stan Lee: More Than Normal, But Believable18. Jeph Loeb: Making The World A Better Place19. Danny Fingeroth: Nobility of Purpose20. Dennis O'Neil: Superheroes and Power21. Kurt Busiek: The Importance of Context: Robin Hood Is Out and Buffy Is In22. Tom DeFalco: Superheroes Are Made23. Joe Quesada: Extraordinary24. Fred Van Lente: The Superprotagonist