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”

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 “

Luke Cage is not here for your shit white people

This trailer, like Luke himself, takes no prisoners. Continue reading “Luke Cage is not here for your shit white people”

Trailer Trash Talk – Ghostbusters


I love Ghostbusters. The cartoon, the original movie, that daft song. Yes, it’s humour tends to excuse Peter Brinkman’s appalling attitude towards women, and it’s tokenisation of Winston Zeddemore (yes, he had a surname!!) means Ernie Hudson goes chronically underemployed. But Sigourney Weaver is great as Dana Barratt, and not just a damsel in distress. That she left Brinkman, as seen in the sequel, and demands better for her child as a single mother is one of the least stigmatising representations of a strong woman in an 80s comedy. All girl reboot? Yeah! Continue reading “Trailer Trash Talk – Ghostbusters”


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”

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”

Article round-up – good stuff by other people

Beast wearing spectacles and reading from a tabletSpring cleaning my bookmarks and sharing the best of the bunch for your delectation and enlightenment… in no particular order Continue reading “Article round-up – good stuff by other people”

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