Your cart is empty.
Superheroes Beyond

Superheroes Beyond

Edited by Cormac McGarry, Liam Burke, Ian Gordon, and Angela Ndalianis
Hardcover : 9781496850096, 286 pages, 22 b&w illustrations, March 2024
Paperback : 9781496850102, 286 pages, 22 b&w illustrations, March 2024

Table of contents

Foreword: Planetary Superheroes as Collective Daydream
Frederick Luis Aldama
Cormac McGarry

Section 1: Beyond Men of Steel
Introduction: Beyond Men of Steel
Angela Ndalianis
Chapter 1: All New, All Different, or No Normal?: Marvel Comics and Superhero Diversity
Naja Later
Chapter 2: The Heart of a Hero: Disability and Humanity in the Origin Stories of Marvel Studios’ Superheroes
Alexandra Ostrowski Schilling
Chapter 3: Monstrosity, Mutation, and the World without Us
Octavia Cade
Chapter 4: Midnight’s Children and The Fortress of Solitude as Superhero Origin Stories
Julian Novitz
Chapter 5: African American Viewers Watching Black Panther: The Power of Representation
Sheena C. Howard

Section 2: Beyond Comic Books
Introduction: Beyond Comic Books
Ian Gordon
Chapter 6: Animating Sub-Mariner and Aquaman: Generational Taste and the Moral Panic of the 1968 Television Season
Djoymi Baker
Chapter 7: The Toy Biz of Superheroes: Superhero Action Figures
Jason Bainbridge
Chapter 8: From Comic Books to Courtroom: Unmasking the Intellectual Property behind the Superhero
Mitchell Adams
Chapter 9: Capes, Tights, and Motherships: Superheroes and New Transmedia Star Systems
Cormac McGarry
Chapter 10: Super Fans or Toxic Madmen?: Fantasy, Reality, and Marginalized Identities in Subversive “DIY Superhero” Indie Films
Jack Teiwes
Section 3: Beyond the United States
Introduction: Beyond the United States
Liam Burke
Chapter 11: We Need Another Hero: The Incompatibility of Superheroes and Australia
Liam Burke
Chapter 12: Without Seeing the Dawn: Monstrous (Super)Heroes and Philippine Myths in Mervin Malonzo’s Tabi Po
Maria Lorena M. Santos
Chapter 13: Is There a Colombian National Superhero?: How Colombian Superheroes Help Define Ethnicity and Race in a Multicultural Society
Enrique Uribe-Jongbloed and Hernan David Espinosa-Medina
Chapter 14: Where Does Black Panther’s Music Come From? Authorship, “the Other,” and the Musical Representation of Africa in Hollywood
Dan Golding
Chapter 15: The Phantom in Aboriginal Australia: Educational Comics, National Identity, and Indigeneity
Aaron Humphrey
About the Contributors

A dynamic collection acknowledging a powerful diversity of superheroes outside of expected boundaries


Contributions by Mitchell Adams, Frederick Luis Aldama, Jason Bainbridge, Djoymi Baker, Liam Burke, Octavia Cade, Hernan David Espinosa-Medina, Dan Golding, Ian Gordon, Sheena C. Howard, Aaron Humphrey, Naja Later, Cormac McGarry, Angela Ndalianis, Julian Novitz, Alexandra Ostrowski Schilling, Maria Lorena M. Santos, Jack Teiwes, and Enrique Uribe-Jongbloed

In recent years, superheroes on the page and screen have garnered increasing research and wider interest. Nonetheless, many works fall back on familiar examples before arriving at predictable conclusions. Superheroes Beyond moves superhero research beyond expected models. In this innovative collection, contributors unmask international crimefighters, track superheroes outside of the comic book page, and explore heroes whose secret identities are not cisgender men. Superheroes Beyond responds to the growing interest in understanding the unique appeal of superheroes by reveling in the diversity of this heroic type.

Superheroes Beyond explores the complexity and cultural reach of the superhero in three sections. The first, “Beyond Men of Steel,” examines how the archetype has moved beyond simply recapitulating the “man of steel” figure to include broader representations of race, gender, sexuality, and ableness. The second section, “Beyond Comic Books,” discusses how the superhero has become a transmedia phenomenon, moving from comic books to toys to cinema screens and beyond. The final section, “Beyond the United States,” highlights the vibrant but often overlooked history of global superhero figures. Together, the essays in this collection form important starting points for taking stock of the superhero’s far-reaching appeal, contributing the critical conversations required to bring scholarship into the present moment and beyond.


"In addition to highlighting fresh voices and offering new interpretations of familiar material, Superheroes Beyond opens significant new avenues in comics, film, popular culture, and fan studies, especially as these relate to marginalized communities and international imaginations. This collection represents a new and exciting generation of scholarship."

- Neal Curtis, author of Sovereignty and Superheroes

"Superheroes Beyond offers a wealth of different approaches to the phenomenon of the superhero and shines light on previously neglected case studies and scholarly contexts. This is a vital contribution to comics studies."

- Blair Davis, author of Comic Book Women: Characters, Creators and Culture in the Golden Age