‘Footnotes to Miller and Moore’: Monomyth and Transnationality in the 1986 Superhero Comics

Francis, Fred (2016) ‘Footnotes to Miller and Moore’: Monomyth and Transnationality in the 1986 Superhero Comics. Comparative American Studies An International Journal, 14 (3-4). pp. 289-301. ISSN 1477-5700. E-ISSN 1741-2676. (doi:10.1080/14775700.2016.1267347)

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https://doi.org/10.1080/14775700.2016.1267347

Abstract

New developments in comics studies have begun to consider the superhero comic as a transnational, rather than American, phenomenon. This approach offers a new way of thinking about the typical story that Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns and Alan Moore’s Watchmen jointly upended the comics world in 1986. While there is robust criticism to challenge the idea that 1986 was a miraculous year for comics, the continuing attention drawn by the two works requires us to think further about their apparent similarity. This article proposes the importance of a narrative of American exceptionalism within comics culture as a defining feature of the contemporary context for the production of the works. It then examines their responses to this context, arguing that they undermine the American monomyth of the superhero in different ways that originate in the different national positions of the two writers.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/14775700.2016.1267347
Uncontrolled keywords: Frank Miller, Alan Moore, American Monomyth, Paul Giles, superhero comics, 1986
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of English
Depositing User: Fred Francis
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2017 14:25 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 18:46 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/60692 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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