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The Supervillain Reader$
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Robert Moses Peaslee and Robert G. Weiner

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781496826466

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2020

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496826466.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

Harley Quinn, Villain, Vixen, Victim

Harley Quinn, Villain, Vixen, Victim

Exploring Her Origins in Batman: The Animated Series

Chapter:
(p.203) Chapter 19 Harley Quinn, Villain, Vixen, Victim
Source:
The Supervillain Reader
Author(s):

Joe Cruzand

Lars Stoltzfus-Brown

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496826466.003.0019

No matter if inhuman, nonhuman, or superhuman, villains continue to inspire directors and viewers to think in new dimensions. I argue that they also represent a broader cultural symptom of problems growing on a global scale and becoming increasingly difficult to grasp. In this context, gigantic villains provide a space for the safe (and often unconscious) engagement with both these larger than life problems and what I call, in reference to Julia Kristeva, the abject-posthuman. Using the example of both the original 1954 and 2014 movie, the article explores how Godzilla, by now a veritable pop culture icon, represents a variety of approaches to the topic of scale, monstrosity, villainy, and posthumanism. It traces what, if anything, has changed in our imagination during the 60 years of Godzilla’s existence and what the continued success of giant heroes and villains can teach us about ourselves.

Keywords:   posthumanism, monster studies, abjection, popular culture, film studies

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