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Gavaler, Chris: "The Ku Klux Klan and the birth of the superhero." In: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics 4.2 (2013), S. 191–208.
|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Gavaler2013
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Keywords: Ethnizität, Ideologiekritik, Intertextualität, Literatur, Superheld, USA
Collection: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics
Thomas Dixon Jr’s Ben Cameron, aka the Grand Dragon, represents the earliest twentieth-century incarnation of an American vigilante hero who assumes a costume and alias to hide his identity while waging his war for good – the formula adopted most famously by Siegel and Shuster for Superman. Dixon did not invent the figure of the costumed superhero; but the character type – as traced from The Clansman through The Birth of a Nation and the second Klan to pulp fiction and early comic books – is dependent on Dixon’s vision. The superhero, despite the character’s evolution into a champion of the oppressed, originated from an oppressive, racist impulse in American culture, and the formula codifies an ethics of vigilante extremism that still contradicts the superhero’s purported social mission.
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