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The Supervillain Reader - University Press of Mississippi
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The Supervillain Reader

Robert Moses Peaslee and Robert G. Weiner


It’s been argued that every good superhero needs an equally compelling supervillain. The Supervillain Reader sheds light on why “it’s all about the villain.” The editors have assembled a collection of both reprinted and original essays that tries to answer the question, Why are we so fascinated with the villain in our storytelling? The obsession with the villain is not some new phenomenon, and in fact one finds villains who are “super” going as far back as ancient religious and mythological texts. This innovative collection brings together essays, book excerpts, and original content from a wid ... More

Keywords: Super Villains, Super Heroes, Comic Studies, Villain Studies, Trans Media

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9781496826466
Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2020 DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496826466.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Robert Moses Peaslee, editor
Texas Tech University

Robert G. Weiner, editor
Texas Tech University

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Section 1 Moral Philosophies and Taxonomies of Villainy

Chapter 1 Dividing Lines

A. G. Holdier

Chapter 7 Sorting Out Villainy

Robin S. Rosenberg

Chapter 8 Implacable Henchmen?

Cait Mongrain and David D. Perlmutter

Section 2 Supervillainy in Myth and Literature

Chapter 9 Aṅgulimāla

John N. Thompson

Section 3 Supervillainy in Cinema and Television

Chapter 17 Caligari1

Siegfried Kracauer

Chapter 19 Harley Quinn, Villain, Vixen, Victim

Joe Cruzand Lars Stoltzfus-Brown

Chapter 21 TV Serial Killers

VÍctor Hernández-Santaolalla and Alberto Hermida

Section 4 Supervillainy in Comics and Sequential Art

Chapter 23 Comics Codes and Parameters for Villain Construction in Sequential Art

Robert G. Weiner and The Comics Magazine Association Of America


Randy Duncan

End Matter