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Power, Responsibility, and the Death of Captain America: Comic book criticisms in times of horror

By R.A. van Ommen


The fall of the Twin Towers sent shudders across the American political and cultural landscapes. Such a watershed event not only calls for an immediate reaction in the political and public sphere, but given time to digest other cultural media will take on the task of analyzing, questioning, and commenting as well. Such commentary can be found in the Civil War series--culminating in the death of Captain America. Similar narratives can be found in other works, such as the graphic novel Watchmen. Given the particular aspects of the comic book medium--the intertwining of art and text with myth and accessibility--the non responsiveness with which most of us treat images of terrible events can be circumvented. The most mainstream comic books in the United States can therefore punch through the banality of horror and provide us with the opportunity for reflection and commentary not immediately in our nature

Topics: Letteren, Captain America, Watchmen, September 11, 9/11, Cold War, comic book, graphic novel, power & responsibility, United States, PATRIOT Act, 9/11 Comission Report, Marvel, DC Comics, Civil War, Scott McCloud, Susan Sontag, Nicholas Mirzoeff, Umberto Eco, imagery, iterative schemes, banality of horror, utopia, ├╝bermensch
Year: 2009
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