The amalgamated avenger: deconstructing the contemporary superhero

Lake, Lewis (2012) The amalgamated avenger: deconstructing the contemporary superhero. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    The aim of this dissertation is to explore the contemporary American superhero. With specific focus on Captain America, it will evaluate the cultural trends that have allowed these images of heroism and fantasy the commercial success that 'Captain America: The First Avenger' (Johnston, 2011) has achieved. The study will firstly explore the film within Hollywood genre discourse and industrial developments. With contention surrounding the placement of the superhero it is important to attempt to label the hero within the boundaries of genre, highlighting the effectiveness of classifying the superhero. This chapter will also investigate the problem with adaptation and the extent the contemporary filmic superhero can be considered an adaptation of previous texts.
    Secondly, this study will explore the extent that Captain America could be considered in reference to a literary canon and how American socio-political history has been imprinted within contemporary cultural consciousness. This will highlight aspects of rigidity and malleability within textual examples that span decades and will further explain how the superhero has developed from a war time propaganda tool to contemporary Hollywood success.
    Thirdly, this study will contextualise 'The First Avenger' as a product of the postmodern condition and the extent history, cultural memory and nostalgia has facilitated the survival of the costumed hero. This study will also take into account the multiplicity of the superhero and how the existence of alternate incarnations of the subject can co-exist through multiple media. This study will also take into account comic book and narrative theory to further explain the saturation of adaptations that contemporary cinema has produced in recent years.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2014 15:56
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 12:32
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/14087

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