Avengers Assemble, Titans Together! Your Utility Belt of Superhero Brainpickery

Oh my stars and garters .... fbi-spy has only gone and compiled some clobbering links to some holy supersmart papers so you can be the best there is at what you do. NOOOOO! OH YESSS! Do you recognize its authority now?

Academic Papers on the Superheroes theme

Superheroes and the Bush doctrine by D.A. Hassler-Forest 
Narrative and politics in post--9/11 discourse: Although there are instances where the superhero figure lends itself to readings of contemporary culture, most narratives point to a problematic worldview where there is a nostalgic desire for the return of patriarchal values)

Superheroes on the Couch by Lawrence Rubin 
Exploring Our Limits 'superheroes and psychotherapy have grown up together in a troubled culture that has continually looked simultaneously to the heavens and the couch for salvation' 

Children's Attitudes Toward Superheroes as a Potential Indicator of Their Moral Understanding by Justin F. Martin
'there may be a relationship between how children feel about themselves and how they feel about superheroes' 

Queering Super-Manhood by Rob Lendrum 
Superhero Masculinity, Camp and Public Relations as a Textual Framework 

Who Saves the Animated World? by Kaysee Baker
The Sex-Role Stereotyping of Superheroes and Superheroines in Children’s Animated Programs

Super Hero Comics Fandom and Psychosocial Identity Construction in Late Modernity by Patricia Gerakopoulou
'Readership choices are thought to be a psycho - social investment on the way to the adulthood and to identity construction and also a significant code which can reveal not only the meaning of the personal development, but
also the reader’s perception of the Zeitgeist'

Suffering and Seriality by Martyn Pedler
Memory, Continuity and Trauma in Monthly Superhero Adventures
'Just as with TV soaps, there’s no final moment, no point to breathe, look back, and see the totality of the text'

Superhero Comics and the Popular Geopolitics of American Identity by Mervi Miettinen

Black Superhero Masculinity in 1970s Mainstream Comic Books by Robert Lendrum

American Masculinity in Crisis: Trauma and Superhero Blockbusters by Lizabeth Mason
'Superhero films of the 2008 season provided representations of masculinity in crisis through narratives concerned with trauma'

Comic Book Masculinity and the New Black Superhero by Jeffrey A. Brown
'the split personality implied by the concept of a masquerade seems to be one of the most archetypal metaphors for the masculine condition in Western culture'

“No Capes!” Über Fashion and How “Luck Favours the Prepared” by Vicki Karaminas
Constructing Contemporary Superhero Identities in American Popular Culture
'Since the emergence of comics in the 1930s as a distinct entertainment medium in American popular culture, the superhero wardrobe has been communicating narratives through a combination of text and sequential illustration that functions within an aesthetic vocabulary of coded symbolism.'

X-Bodies: The Torment of the Mutant Superhero by Bukataman
'Superhero bodies are mysterious, invested with magical abilities and a metamorphic pliability'

Batman Crucified: Religion and Modern Superhero Comic Books by Bruce David Forbes
'religion [has a] continuing role in providing resources for people engaged in quests for meaning or caught in struggles of good and evil'

Superhero Comics as Moral Pornography by David A. Pizarro and Roy Baumeister
'superhero comics, like other moralistic tales, are popular in part because they satisfy a basic human motivation: the motivation to divide the social world into good people and bad, and to morally praise and condemn them accordingly'

Notable Exhibitions

Reflecting Culture: The Evolution of American Comic Book Superheroes
The exhibition Reflecting Culture: The Evolution of American Comic Book Superheroes (July 14, 2007 through January 13, 2008) traced the evolution of American comic book Superheroes from the Golden Age of comics (1938-1951) to the present.

Marvel Superheroes “Long live comics! Long live science!” at Príncipe Felipe Science Museum

Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy at The Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute

ZAP! POW! BAM! The Superhero: The Golden Age of Comic Books, 1938-1950 at Jewish Museum 2008

Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy at Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2008

Interesting Articles

Bradford Batman is not alone: the real-life superheroes watching over you
This caped crusader is one of hundreds. By day they're chefs, bankers, baristas. By night they're costumed fighters of injustice READ ON

The Real Problem With Superman's New Writer Isn't Bigotry, It's Fascism
Orson Scott Card's anti-gay beliefs would do more than contradict the Man of Steel's inherent goodness READ ON

Super Power Fantasies 
In his book Do The Gods Wear Capes?, Saunders argues that Superman is a "moral agent who acts always out of his commitment to 'the good.'" It isn't superstrength or superkissing which makes Superman what he is; it is super-goodness READ ON

Flaws Found in Fredric Wertham’s Comic-Book Studies
Wertham, a German-born American psychiatrist, stirred a national furor and helped create a blueprint for contemporary cultural panics in 1954 with the publication of his book “Seduction of the Innocent,” which attacked comic books for corrupting the minds of young readers READ ON

Death in Graphic Novels
Death is not an easy topic to explore, but when text is expanded by the graphic form, authors and artists find new ways to address the most fundamental of human experiences: coming to terms with mortality READ ON

All-Female X-Men Team Highlights Marvel Support of Women in Comics
At a time when so many are standing up to speak about a lack of well-developed female lead characters in various geekdoms, Marvel has been actively addressing that absence READ ON

What are superhero movies really all about? 
'Almost never do superheroes make, create, or build anything. The villains, in contrast, are endlessly creative' READ ON
Beyond superheroes: how creators can own comics
Laura Sneddon talks to Tim Seeley, David Hine, David Mack, and David Lloyd about the possibilities steering clear of Marvel and DC affords READ ON

They Call Me ... Bruce? When Characters Outlive Their Names
Bruce Wayne is only one of the many characters whose name makes him seem perhaps a little older than he is READ ON

Superman, Man of Steel: a superhero's life in pictures
Some classic pictures of the superhero from Krypton – from comic-book drawings to hit TV show Smallville, and many more along the way READ ON

The Shifting Lines of Moral Force  Why do costumed superheroes suddenly have complex interiority: family backgrounds, ambivalence, moral crises, self-doubt and even explicit political motivation? READ ON