The Logan Institute for the Study of Superhero Masculinities

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

How to tell if your boyfriend’s immortal

A reboot of the Highlander franchise has apparently got a script, so I am taking the opportunity to explore previous representations of immortal heroes.

So, you’re a fictional character apparently willing to date very cagey guys, and you meet a hot one, but he’s got some weird habits: suddenly leaving with no explanation, keeping odd hours, the occasional bandage that never lasts more than a day or two. You might have fallen for an immortal hero. Here’s a handy checklist… Continue reading “How to tell if your boyfriend’s immortal”

Metaphors of Resistance and Oppression

Of Eric Stevens and Erik Lehnsherr – a low spoiler comparison

There’s interesting parallels and differences to be drawn out between Marvel’s treatment of its bad guys. The Eric/ks have more in common than their first name. After all, in the latest Black Panther film Killmonger is part of a disenfranchised minority, he’s been exiled from the country that should have been his home, he sees very clearly the oppression of his people, and he has a plan to end it. Yet, despite Magneto being a Jewish survivor of the Nazis, the discussion in the X-Men franchise remains, for the most part, confined to a metaphoric realm regarding mutation. But Wakanda is not a country of mutants, it’s people are not blue-skinned; there is no metaphor to distance the audience from their involvement in the very same politics of embodiment that are critiqued on the screen. Continue reading “Metaphors of Resistance and Oppression”

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…”

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