The Logan Institute for the Study of Superhero Masculinities

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



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”

Flesh Wounds

It is painful and hard to endure. The pain is distracting, and prevents the sufferer from being at their best performance-level. The blood is inconvenient, and a bit gross, and a lot of people are squeamish about it. Superhero fight scene, or a day at the office whilst menstruating? In this post, I am going to address readings of the wound as culturally aligned with femininity. Not to overcome the perceived negativity of this reading, but to revel in its possibilities.
Continue reading “Flesh Wounds”

Romancing the Stone – Ben Grimm’s Valentine

This is about how romance plays out for superheroes who don’t look like Superman. Continue reading “Romancing the Stone – Ben Grimm’s Valentine”


A wonderful post from The Middle Spaces on Cyborg as the superhero representation of white supremacy’s effect on the black body. A black man “transformed from a metaphorical machine to an actual one.”

Continue reading “Humanity Not Included: DC’s Cyborg and the Mechanization of the Black Body”

Book Review – Death, Disability, and the Superhero

Book Cover shows Gilles Barbier's art installation Nursing Home, from 2002. With title and authors name above it.Recently I reviewed the book Death, Disability and the Superhero: the silver age and beyond, by José Alaniz, from University Press of Mississippi. Continue reading “Book Review – Death, Disability, and the Superhero”

Trailer Trash Talk – DareDevil

visual narratives about blindness

Daredevil drops in two weeks on Netflix. I’m excited about this new series: it has a stellar cast, experienced writers who have worked in comics and crime tv, a distinctive design concept. But the whole idea is odd, isn’t it – a narrative told in a visual medium, about  a man who has lost his sight. I can’t wait. So here’s some juicy speculation about the latest offering from Marvel’s (over)production house…
Continue reading “Trailer Trash Talk – DareDevil”

If Thy Eye Offend Thee

…PLUCK IT OUT.              MARK 9:48

The loss of an eye is a familiar disfigurement for a superhero, supervillain, or sidekick. Without even checking my sources I can call to mind Nick Fury and Odin (Marvel), Deadshot & Deathstroke (DC),  Xander Harris (Buffy), Madame Kovarian (Dr Who), Blofeld (James Bond), Alastor Moody (Harry Potter), and Molotov Cocktease (Adventure Bros.).

These very varied characters, from very varied sources, all have one thing in common; they received their wound or scar in some form of battle, except for Madame Kovarian about whom little is known. The wearing of an eyepatch covers the area for many characters, with cultural connotations of piracy and adventure – despite the distinct lack of reason or evidence for this link. However, the addition of this particular bodily injury to a character often has much deeper connotations: the result may be a dashing patch and tale of honour, but the eyes carry a lot of cultural weight. Continue reading “If Thy Eye Offend Thee”

Wounded Heroes, Scarred Villains

The wound is not just an ontological category, a thing, it is part of a process – from the initial blow or piercing injury to the body, through the healing stages, we still refer to the damaged area as wounded. A wound may bleed, gape, fester, heal; it is part of living flesh, a chapter of a story of the body. The scar, however, is dead flesh. A scar is an old wound, a finished process, unchanging. Continue reading “Wounded Heroes, Scarred Villains”

Blog at

Up ↑