Superheroes 1/3 – Marvel’s Civil War and the USA Patriot Act

Today we looked at a history of superhuman registration acts in the Marvel Universe, and we studied Reed Richards in particular: how did he go from anti-registration in 1990 to pro-registration 2006 (in Civil War)?

Here’s the power point for notes: history-of-superhuman-registration-acts-in-marvel

At the end of class we connected the events of post-9/11 America (detailed in the power point) to specific images, ideas and quotes in Marvel’s Civil War. How much does this book act as an allegory to modern times?


Today we also began discussing your final research paper for this course. For Thursday, come to class prepared with a topic idea and some cursory research on that topic. I will hold individual meetings during the period. This will be a homework grade.

Here are some ideas for choosing a topic:

Focus on a specific superhero
–How have they changed over the years and why?
–Use a lens (gender, feminism, Freudian, etc.) to study a superhero or group of superheroes

Study a specific story arc that spans multiple issues (like Civil War or the Death of Superman)

Connect story arc or character to our world
–Allegory, symbolism, religion, history in comics/graphic novels


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