“Superhero Synergies: Comic Book Characters Go Digital”

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Superhero Synergies: Comic Book Characters Go Digital, co-edited with Matthias Stork (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014).
Buy the book: Amazon | R&L

Superhero Synergies is a collection of essays I co-edited with my colleague and friend, Matthias Stork, from 2012-2014. This collection takes a far-reaching, interdisciplinary, and intermedial look at the contemporary superhero genre from a multitude of unique perspectives. I wrote the chapter “Will You Like Me When I’m Angry? Discourses of the Digital in Hulk and The Incredible Hulk,” as well as, with Matthias, the Introduction, titled “Heroes, Converge!”

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Here is the official promotional text describing the book:

In the age of digital media, superheroes are no longer confined to comic books and graphic novels. Their stories are now featured in films, video games, digital comics, television programs, and more. In a single year alone, films featuring Batman, Spider-Man, and the Avengers have appeared on the big screen. Popular media no longer exists in isolation, but converges into complex multidimensional entities. As a result, traditional ideas about the relationship between varying media have come under striking revision. Although this convergence is apparent in many genres, perhaps nowhere is it more persistent, more creative, or more varied than in the superhero genre.

Superhero Synergies: Comic Book Characters Go Digital explores this developing relationship between superheroes and various forms of media, examining how the superhero genre, which was once limited primarily to a single medium, has been developed into so many more. Essays in this volume engage with several of the most iconic heroes—including Batman, Hulk, and Iron Man—through a variety of academic disciplines such as industry studies, gender studies, and aesthetic analysis to develop an expansive view of the genre’s potency. The contributors to this volume engage cinema, comics, video games, and even live stage shows to instill readers with new ways of looking at, thinking about, and experiencing some of contemporary media’s most popular texts.

This unique approach to the examination of digital media and superhero studies provides new and valuable readings of well-known texts and practices. Intended for both academics and fans of the superhero genre, this anthology introduces the innovative and growing synergy between traditional comic books and digital media.

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