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Death, Disability, and the SuperheroThe Silver Age and Beyond$
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José Alaniz

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781628461176

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2015

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781628461176.001.0001

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Dismodernism and “The World's Strangest Heroes”

Dismodernism and “The World's Strangest Heroes”

(p.116) 5 Dismodernism and “The World's Strangest Heroes”
Death, Disability, and the Superhero

Alaniz José

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter studies DC's Doom Patrol and Marvel's X-Men, both consisting societal outcasts led by a strong patriarchal figure in a wheelchair, who all live together in alternate communities hidden from the world, and fight to defend the public that alienates them. While X-Men has earned a reputation as the preeminent disability allegory in superhero comics, Doom Patrol went further, constructing a vision of physical difference, alternative community, and interdependence akin to Professor Lennard Davis's post-ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) concept of dismodernism. By emphasizing disability itself as an unstable category and postmodernist subject position predicated on universal impairment, partial-ness, and interdependence, in which bodies are often “completed by technology,” Davis inverts the traditional givenness of social relations, and declares that “Impairment is the rule, and normalcy is the fantasy.”

Keywords:   DC Comics, Doom Patrol, Marvel, X-Men, disability allegory, superhero comics, Lennard Davis, dismodernism

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