Superman’s fight against the KKK and more examined in “War, Politics and Superheroes”
What’s Superman’s stance on the death penalty? Who might Spider-Man vote for? Marc DiPaolo, assistant professor of English and film at Oklahoma City University, has examined the political leanings, often subtextual, of comic-book superheroes.
“War, Politics, and Superheroes: Ethics and Propaganda in Comics and Film” was released by McFarland and Co. last month.
“I’ve been collecting comics since 1984, and as I would read them, an outrageous story would come up,” DiPaolo said. “And I’d make a mental note, and I’d put it in my closet. And over time, I’d notice this series of provocative stories that I happened to own.”
DiPaolo wrote chapters on superheroes for other books, and he’s now combined those essays with several new ones for this volume.
DiPaolo, 34, grew up in Staten Island, where the adventures of Peter Parker appealed to him.
“Growing up in New York, I think I liked comics because they were in New York,” he said. “And I really related directly to Spider-Man, because I was in high school, he was in high school. We were both in New York — he was Queens, I was Staten Island. I liked literature, he liked science. But I felt like he was me.”
DiPaolo’s book is about how superheroes in comics and film can be a mirror to the politics of their time.
In his chapter on Superman, DiPaolo writes how the Superman radio show used leaks from a human-rights activist to
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