Bodies in transition. Queering the Comic Book Superhero

Author(s): Stein, Daniel


This essay analyzes the comic book superhero as a popular figure whose queerness follows as much from the logic of the comics medium and the aesthetic principles of the genre as it does from a dialectic tension between historically evolving heteronormative and queer readings. Focusing specifically on the superbody as an overdetermined site of gendered significances, the essay traces a shift from the ostensibly straight iterations in the early years of the genre to the more recent appearance of openly queer characters. It further suggests that the struggle over the superbody’s sexual orientation and gender identity has been an essential force in the development of the genre from its inception until the present day.

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Preferred Citation
Stein, Daniel: Bodies in transition. Queering the Comic Book Superhero. In: Navigationen - Zeitschrift für Medien- und Kulturwissenschaften, Jg. 18 (2018), Nr. 1, S. 15-38. DOI: 10.25969/mediarep/1832.
 author = {Stein, Daniel},
 title = {Bodies in transition. Queering the Comic Book Superhero},
 year = 2018,
 doi = {10.25969/mediarep/1832},
 volume = 18,
 address = {Siegen},
 journal = {Navigationen - Zeitschrift für Medien- und Kulturwissenschaften},
 number = 1,
 pages = {15--38},
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The item has been published with the following license: Unter Urheberrechtsschutz