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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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A Darker Truth Underneath

A Darker Truth Underneath

Bucky Barnes and Captain America

(p.309) Chapter 30 A Darker Truth Underneath
The Supervillain Reader

Naja Later

University Press of Mississippi

Inspired by Superman’s longstanding foe Lex Luthor, this essay outs the Man of Steel as a monster once and for all. Utilizing a super-villainous methodology that relishes in the desire to expose, this essay scrutinizes the ways in which comic artists have attempted to repress Superman’s own monstrosity by deflecting attention onto the more-visibly abject figure of Bizarro. However, unlike previous interpretations of Superman’s Otherness, this essay adopts a trans reading position that attends to how the Frankenstein-inspired figure of Bizarro exposes Superman specifically as a transsexual monster. This chapter argues that Bizarro signals and ultimately enacts what Superman cannot – namely, the hero’s own profound sense of corporeal otherness, one that is uncannily akin to certain trans articulations of embodiment.

Keywords:   superhero, transgender, monster, Frankenstein, Transsexual

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