Advertisement

Incoherent Texts: The Chronotope of the Superhero

  • David HymanEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Comics and Graphic Novels book series (PSCGN)

Abstract

“Discontinuities and Multiplicities,” complicates the exploration of superhero revision by examining the genre in terms of narrative temporality. Eco’s famous description of the genre’s sense of time as oneiric is supplemented by approaches drawn from several narrative theorists as well as more superhero-specific scholarship. This approach elucidates significant shifts in the role that revision has played in the construction of superhero texts in the years following Eco’s observations, particularly in the wake of the generic transition from what Henry Jenkins has identified as a paradigm of continuity to one of multiplicity. While this transition has been accompanied by corporate and narrative restrictions limiting radical content, modes of superhero revision have emerged that challenge generic orthodoxies and resist the imposition of continuity and cohesion as ultimate goals.

Keywords

Superhero Continuity Multiplicity Umberto Eco Revision Narrative time 

Bibliography

  1. Bakhtin, Mikhail. The Dialogic Imagination. Ed. Michael Holquist. Trans. Caryl & Holquist, Michael Emerson. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1981.Google Scholar
  2. Bloom, Harold. The Anxiety of Influence. 2nd Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997.Google Scholar
  3. Borges, Jorge Luis. “Avatars of the Tortoise.” Borges, Jorge Luis. Labyrinths: Selected Stories and Other Writings. Ed. Donald A. & Irby, James E. Yates. New York: New Directions, 1964. 202–208.Google Scholar
  4. Brady, Matt. “Grant Morrison’s Big-time Return to the DCU.” 2 August 2004. Newsarama.com. 7 March 2010. http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?s=5e0f1f3c032b47c7ccc8e981fe4a648a&threadid=15990.
  5. Brooker, Will. Batman Unmasked: Analyzing a Cultural Icon. New York: Continuum, 2001.Google Scholar
  6. Bryant, John. The Fluid Text: A Theory of Revision and Editing for Book and Screen. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2002.Google Scholar
  7. Chatman, Seymour. Coming to Terms: The Rhetoric of Narrative in Fiction and Films. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1990.Google Scholar
  8. Eco, Umberto. The Role of the Reader. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1979.Google Scholar
  9. Ellis, John. Visible Fictions: Cinema: Television: Video. Abingdon, UK: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1982.Google Scholar
  10. Génette, Gerard. Narrative Discourse: An Essay in Method. Trans. Jane E. Lewin. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1980.Google Scholar
  11. Hajdu, David. The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008.Google Scholar
  12. Hagedorn, Roger. “Doubtless to be Continued: A Brief History of Serial Narrative.” To Be Continued:Soap Operas Around the World. Ed. Robert C. Allen. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 1995. 27–48.Google Scholar
  13. Jenkins, Henry. “‘Just Men in Tights’: Rewriting Silver Age Comics in the Age of Multiplicity.” The Contemporary Comic Book Superhero. Ed. Angela Ndalianis. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2009. 16–43.Google Scholar
  14. Klock, Geoff. How to Read Superhero Comics and Why. London: Continuum, 2002.Google Scholar
  15. Lee, Stan. Origins of Marvel Comics. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 1974.Google Scholar
  16. Metz, Christian. Film Language: A Semiotics of the Cinema. Trans. Michael Taylor. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1974.Google Scholar
  17. Nyberg, Amy Kiste. Seal of Approval: The History of the Comics Code. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 1998.Google Scholar
  18. Redmond, Christopher. A Sherlock Holmes Handbook. Toronto: Dundurn Press, 1993.Google Scholar
  19. Reynolds, Richard. Super Heroes: A Modern Mythology. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 1992.Google Scholar
  20. Richardson, Brian. “Beyond Story and Discourse: Narrative Time in Postmodern and Nonmimetic Fiction.” Narrative Dynamics: Essays on Time, Plot, Closure, and Frames. ed. Brian Richardson. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press, 2002. 47–63.Google Scholar
  21. Sabin, Roger. Comics, Comix & Graphic Novels: A History of Comic Art. London: Phaidon Press, 1996.Google Scholar
  22. Savage, William W. Jr. Comic Books and America, 1945–1954. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1990.Google Scholar
  23. Wandtke, Terrence R., ed. The Amazing Transforming Superhero! Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, 2007.Google Scholar
  24. Wolk, Douglas. Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean. Boston: Da Capo Press, 2007.Google Scholar
  25. Woo, Benjamin. “An Age-Old Problem: Problematics of Comic Book Historiography.” International Journal of Comic Art 10.1 (Spring 2008): 268–279.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EnglishLehman College, CUNYBronxUSA

Personalised recommendations