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The Superhero Reader$
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Charles Hatfield, Jeet Heer, and Kent Worcester

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781617038068

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617038068.001.0001

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date: 15 December 2017

The Superman Conceit

The Superman Conceit

Chapter:
(p.46) The Superman Conceit
Source:
The Superhero Reader
Author(s):

Fredric Wertham

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781617038068.003.0006

This chapter presents an excerpt from Fredric Wertham’s book, Seduction of the Innocent (1954), which criticizes the superhero genre. Wertham was especially concerned about what he saw as the dubious politics of the superhero, seeing the idea of the superpowered vigilante as all too reminiscent of the Nazi ideal of the superman. A leading opponent of American racism during his era, Wertham argued that the superhero often embodied noxious notions of white supremacy.

Keywords:   comics, superhero genre, superheroes, vigilante, Nazis, superman, white supremacy

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