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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

The Absence of Black Supervillains in Mainstream Comics1

The Absence of Black Supervillains in Mainstream Comics1

(p.274) Chapter 27 The Absence of Black Supervillains in Mainstream Comics1
The Supervillain Reader

Phillip Lamarr Cunningham

University Press of Mississippi

During the Watergate scandal, in the pages of Captain America and the Falcon, writer Steve Englehart embarked on a multi-issue storyline revolving around a “Secret Empire” that sought to covertly rule America. In issue#175 (1974), the organization’s leader, “Number One,” was exposed as President Richard Nixon. Rather than being publicly exposed, “Nixon” chooses to commit suicide. The storyline would result in the hero’s questioning of what America had become, and whether he could continue as a symbol of the country. Coming months before Nixon would resign in real-life, the reader can see how far he had fallen in the eyes of Americans. The use of a comic book fiction to portray the angerand frustration with someone seen by the general public as villainous, provides an excellent window into America’s ideas of “villainy” in the mid-1970s.

Keywords:   Watergate, Captain America, Richard Nixon, Real Life, Anger

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