Invent, Deconstruct and Reinvent the Superhero: the Misadventures of the National Hero in the Modern Cultures of Nationalism (from the Nationalist Political Poster to the Comic Book of Mass Culture)
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Nationalism Identity Imagination of Nations Invention of Traditions High Cultures Mass Culture Romanticism Comics Hero Superhero

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Kyrchanoff, M. (2020). Invent, Deconstruct and Reinvent the Superhero: the Misadventures of the National Hero in the Modern Cultures of Nationalism (from the Nationalist Political Poster to the Comic Book of Mass Culture). Galactica Media: Journal of Media Studies, 2(3), 193-222.


The author analyzes the problems of the development of images of heroes and superheroes in Western culture. The purpose of the article is to analyze the main vectors and trajectories of the transformation of heroic images as forms of actualization of national and political identities. It is assumed that modern images of super-heroes in the mass culture of a consumer society emerges as a result of the processes of gradual erosion and crisis of the nation-state and standardized political identities of the modern era. The author believes that popular culture has changed significantly the basic vectors and paths of development of heroic images in the national self-identities. The author analyzes the role of nationalism in transformations of the images of heroes. The author analyzes the main stages in the transformation of heroic images, suggesting that 1) 19th-century “nationalisms» proposed classic images of national heroes; 2) in the second half of the 20th century, the classic hero in the national imagination became a victim of massivization; 3) by the beginning of the 21st century, multiple images of the national hero of classical culture and the super-hero of mass culture coexisted; 4) at the beginning of the 21st century, a super hero was imagined and invented in the processes of deconstruction of the classical images of a national hero. In general, it is assumed that the comics as a genre in particular and the comics sub-culture in general actualizes the main forms of transformation of the images of the super-hero.
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