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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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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 25 February 2020

Navigating Infinite Earths

Navigating Infinite Earths

(p.155) Navigating Infinite Earths
The Superhero Reader

Karin Kukkonen

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter examines three texts: Marv Wolfman’s Crisis on Infinite Earths (1985–86), Warren Ellis’ Planetary (1999–2009), and Alan Moore’s Tom Strong (1996–2006). The chapter is organized as follows. The aim is to explore the sometimes labyrinthine complexity of the superhero multiverse and the means by which readers navigate that ontological labyrinth. The first section examines how readers move from the comics text to a mental model of the events as they read the story. The next section turns to continuity and counterfactuals, and looks at the challenges that the multiverse in the superhero narratives of Crisis on Infinite Earths, Planetary, and Tom Strong poses to human cognition. The remainder of the chapter explores strategies superhero comics use to mitigate these challenges to human cognition.

Keywords:   superhero multiverse, myth, Marv Wolfman, Crisis on Infinite Earths, Alan Moore, Tom Strong, Warren Ellis, Planetary, superhero narratives, human cognition

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