The Logan Institute for the Study of Superhero Masculinities

A blog for film fans, comic geeks, and aca-nerds.

New! A collection of essays about the CW show Arrow. I have a chapter in it, and know several of the contributors – I can attest that their writing is great! My chapter is about how Arrow‘s depiction of heroic bodies fits into the action tradition. There’s heavy duty theory for the nerds, essays on gender, bodies and representation for everyone, and a section on the fandom itself.

Try before you buy!


Foucaldian Rage

Rage – an appropriate name for an infuriating representation of ‘queer heroism’.

The television series Queer as Folk (2000-2005), in its American iteration, engaged thoughtfully  with comic book culture and the representation of the superhero. Central character Michael Novotny (Hal Sparks) is a comic fan, turned comic store owner, who meets his future husband Ben, a professor of literature, through the latter’s research into pop culture representations of gender and sexuality. Through the characterisation of fans, producers, and critics of superhero media, the show develops nuanced discussions of comic book representation. Yet, its presentation of the gay superhero leaves much to be desired…

Continue reading “Foucaldian Rage”

Guitar SuperHero Hails Hydra

Gutterdämmerung‘s white masculine power fantasy

The first feature film from an artist, photographer, and former advert director, with a great rock music score? Well, Highlander became a classic of films so bad they’re wonderful. I was fully prepared to enjoy this rock-n-roll wannabe epic. Continue reading “Guitar SuperHero Hails Hydra”

The Old Man and the Seed

The trope of the hoary old warrior and the child is an old one in cinema, and central to James Mangold’s Logan, as the promotional images attest. It relies upon a set of tired binaries that fail to cohere into a coherent whole, much like this film. Continue reading “The Old Man and the Seed”

Logan and the Cinema of Epic Manpain

So I just saw James Mangold’s Logan. Phenomenal performance from Patrick Stewart, not nearly enough of Eric LaSalle and family, and some very impressive CGI for Logan on Logan action (yes I know exactly how that sounds, and I already have an alert set for that fic). But, I sort of feel like two different films got cut together, and neither got what it fully deserved. So this post comes in two halves… Continue reading “Logan and the Cinema of Epic Manpain”

Contemptibly Queer – bad guys and bisexuality

There are a lot of bisexuals on the bad guy beat this season.  Continue reading “Contemptibly Queer – bad guys and bisexuality”

Ask not what your heroes can do for you…

I haven’t posted recently because, as a grad student, sessional tutor, and spoonie, life got busy. But A Big Goddamn Hero just died, and she deserves to be memorialised on every page on the net that keeps the geek flag flying. Continue reading “Ask not what your heroes can do for you…”

Hey, why is Gabe drawing so many dicks?

“So, as most of you have probably noticed (or maybe haven’t until now), the majority of nude or sexualized images that appear in my work are of women. For the longest time, I thought there couldn’t be anything wrong with that… I began to notice that I was very uncomfortable with drawing men the same way I drew women, or even seeing them depicted that way…What I began to notice was that I had some pretty concrete expectations surrounding what is supposed to be sexy or sexualized, despite often arguing that I did not….” Read More from artist Gabe Sapienza on gendered representations of male sexuality

Posted by Gabe Sapienza on Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Luke Cage: Young, Gifted, and Black 

Given the amount of salty white tears on Twitter about the inherent blackness of Netflix’s new series, Luke Cage, I am not going to add another white voice to the critical or analytic chorus right now. This is television by black people, about black people, why would I resent the idea that it is – first and foremost – for black people? And that I would learn something by listening rather than talking right now. Continue reading “Luke Cage: Young, Gifted, and Black “

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