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The superhero costume : identity and disguise in fact and fiction

Author: Barbara Brownie; Danny Graydon
Publisher: London ; New York : Bloomsbury Academic, An imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2016. ©2016
Series: Dress, body, culture.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Costume defines the superhero, disguising and distinguishing them from his or her civilian alter-ego. Instantly recognizable, the often garish garb includes insignias which are frequently appropriated and distorted throughout the world in a variety of media. This book provides the first interdisciplinary analysis of the superhero costume and investigates wide-ranging issues such as identity, otherness, ritual dress  Read more...
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Details

Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Barbara Brownie; Danny Graydon
ISBN: 9781472595911 1472595912 9781472595904 1472595904
OCLC Number: 907117906
Description: xi, 175 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Contents: Part I: Origins and evolution : Superman: codifying the superhero wardrobe : Physical labor and the construction of masculinity ; Performance in combat ; The costume as biography ; Superman the brand ; The archetype and his imitators --
Identity, role and the mask : The mask and issues of identity ; The identity of the mask ; Power, authority and the privileged few ; Face-ism ; How dress defines role ; The deceit of the masquerade --
Evolution and adaptation: form versus function : "Sucked into silliness" ; Real-life references: the historical and the sporting ; Technology and utility ; The pursuit of credibility: hyperrealism and assemblage ; The decline of the costume --
Part II: Identities and ideals : Wearing the flag: patriotism and globalization : Stars and stripes ... and spandex ; Conflicted identities: nation versus race ; Exoticism and primitivism in Batman incorporated --
Dressing up, dressing down: a spectacle of otherness, and the ordinariness of the civilian alter-ego : Performing ordinariness ; Playing to the reader ; Unmasking Clark Kent ; Self-objectification ; Method in the masquerade --
Channeling the beast : Physiognomy and anthrozoomorphism ; The bird men ; Ritual and the animal spirit --
Part III. Harsh realities : Superheros and the fashion of being unfashionable : Fashion outsiders ; The gender divide ; The cycle of superhero fashion ; Evolution into eternity --
Superhero cosplay : Participatory fandom/imaginative reconstruction ; "I'm your biggest fan": competition and authenticity ; Spectatorship and the cosplay spectacle ; Sewing and making: masculinity and manufacture --
Real-life superheroes : Masked vigilantes and the reality of costumes ; Masks and manifestos ; Parent power --
Part IV. Case studies : Watchmen : Deconstructing the costume ; Men without humanity ; Masks without men --
Iron Man : Who is Iron Man? ; Automated dressing ; The hyper-abled hero --
The X-Men : Uniforms and unity ; The yellow "X": marking the mutant "other".
Series Title: Dress, body, culture.
Responsibility: Barbara Brownie and Danny Graydon.

Abstract:

"Costume defines the superhero, disguising and distinguishing them from his or her civilian alter-ego. Instantly recognizable, the often garish garb includes insignias which are frequently appropriated and distorted throughout the world in a variety of media. This book provides the first interdisciplinary analysis of the superhero costume and investigates wide-ranging issues such as identity, otherness, ritual dress and disguise. Analysis focuses on the implications of wearing superhero costume, exploring interpretations of the costumed hero and the extent to which the costume defines his or her role. Using examples across various media (comic books, film, and television) with case studies including The X-Men, Watchmen, real-life superheroes such as Phoenix Jones and Pussy Riot and audience activities such as cosplay, The Superhero Costume presents new perspectives on the increasingly popular genre. A lively and thorough account of superhero fashions throughout history, The Superhero Costume will be essential reading for undergraduate students of fashion, visual culture, popular culture and cultural studies"--
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The book is a smoothly written, highly accessible and, above all, richly informative text that addresses a crucial gap in scholarly knowledge and offers some unexpected food for thought. * Studies in Read more...

 
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