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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: 02 April 2020

The Superman Conceit

The Superman Conceit

(p.46) The Superman Conceit
The Superhero Reader

Fredric Wertham

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter presents an excerpt from Fredric Wertham’s book, Seduction of the Innocent (1954), which criticizes the superhero genre. Wertham was especially concerned about what he saw as the dubious politics of the superhero, seeing the idea of the superpowered vigilante as all too reminiscent of the Nazi ideal of the superman. A leading opponent of American racism during his era, Wertham argued that the superhero often embodied noxious notions of white supremacy.

Keywords:   comics, superhero genre, superheroes, vigilante, Nazis, superman, white supremacy

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