Ubermen: Masculinity, Costume, and Meaning in Comic Book Superheroes

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The Men's Fashion Reader, 2009, First, pp. 179 - 186
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Much has been written about comic book superheroes and their cinematic adaptations. They are cultural icons recognized in every corner of the world and have featured in the childhoods of most Americans and Australians since the 19305. Superheroes have also helped to construct an ideological worldview from the shifting interactions of politics, history, and culture, as well as define a sense of identity and subjectivity. Yet, for such instantly recognizable icons, little has been written in terms of superhero dress and the collective imagination that sartorial practices produce in framing cultural meanings. Rather than situating male superhero attire in the field of costume design functionality, this chapter sets out to reposition the discourse of superhero clothing as a vehicle for understanding constructions of masculinity, identity, and nation. By providing a set of cinematic case studies) the chapter also comments on the impact of nanotechnology in the construction of superhero attire in producjng techno-augmented Uberbodies designed to protect the nation's future.
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