Sexed Glances: Politics of Representation in Superhero Comics
Identity and representation remain contested in popular media. Comic book characters are not just icons of themselves; they play the role of indexes as well as are used in other social schema. For a character, the syntagm comprises of multiple parts of their iconography, including costume, abilities, the place of their origin, their physicality to name a few. They are major ground for representing and transforming cultural images. Representation is assuredly one aspect in identification and a persistent mark of changing civil discourse for marginalized groups. This paper studies the umpteen transitions in the corporeal display of a few DC and Marvel Comic book superheroes. The goal of this study is to understand the myriad ways in which male and female superheroesâ€™ bodies express not only their superpowers but also their gendered identifications. The comic readerâ€™s â€˜gazeâ€™ upon the physicality of the characters creates an intersection of spectacle and narrative which cannot be separated from both the corporeal body and the costume of the superhero.