The Logan Institute for the Study of Superhero Masculinities

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



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”

Star Justice Wars

A lot has been written recently about certain online roving gangs and their decision to ‘boycott’ the new new Star Wars offering The Force Awakens. Their reasoning apparently being that without a white man in a central heroic role the series is ruined, ruined I tell you!!

How have they missed the critique of white patriarchy so clearly, but imperfectly, structured into the first trilogy? How have they come to a definition that heroism is about a white man’s lone triumph? Continue reading “Star Justice Wars”

Feel the Force

As a certain set of super-powered heroes returned to cinemas this week, here’s a link to Unwinnable magazine’s I Love Star Wars edition.

cover of Unwinnable magazine: with red, heart shaoed deathstar image Continue reading “Feel the Force”

Batman v Superman v Everyone Else

Zack Snyder, director of upcoming super-slugfest Batman V Superman, has come out swinging himself. But what exactly is his target, with comments like:

“I feel like Batman and Superman are transcendent of superhero movies in a way, because they’re Batman and Superman, they’re not just, like, the flavor of the week Ant-Man — not to be mean, but whatever it is. What is next Blank-Man?”

What exactly does transcend mean here? Continue reading “Batman v Superman v Everyone Else”

The Unbearable Whiteness of Being Chris

There’s a Nietzschean joke in the above image somewhere about supermen, and the abyss staring back at you. I just haven’t found it yet. Continue reading “The Unbearable Whiteness of Being Chris”

Recipe for Superheroism

A couple of weeks ago, the wiki-leaks Sony hack turned up a licensing agreement between Sony Pictures and Marvel, setting out legally binding parameters for the character Spider-Man and his civilian alter-ego Peter Parker. This is, in no uncertain terms, an officially sanctioned definition of gendered heroism. Continue reading “Recipe for Superheroism”

Trailer Trash Talk – Age of Ultron

The Age of Ultron (Joss Whedon, 2015) trailers are three nicely paced little snapshots, each with a different feel. But overall, I felt something was lacking.

Continue reading “Trailer Trash Talk – Age of Ultron”

Emperor’s New Feathers

I have been trying to write this for some time. I saw this film over a month ago, and have been pondering it ever since, talking about it over dinner, on buses, reading endless reviews. Clearly Birdman (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2015) is essential viewing for those interested in masculine identity and superheroes. Continue reading “Emperor’s New Feathers”

In the Beginning…

…there was Blade


Since the turn of the millennium we have had a few superheroes of colour on the mainstream cinema screen who survive to the end of the film – Catwoman and Storm (Halle Berry), Hancock (Will Smith), War Machine (Don Cheadle)and Falcon (Anthony Mackie). Only Hancock got his own film, and it was all about a nice white guy saving him from himself. Uh Huh. Bring back Blade! Continue reading “In the Beginning…”

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