Sovereignty and superheroes

By Neal Curtis

Sovereignty and superheroes


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8504-8
  • Pages: 216
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: December 2015
  • BIC Category: Politics & government, Media studies, Central / national / federal government, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies, POLITICAL SCIENCE / American Government / General, Society & social sciences / Media studies, Society & social sciences / Central government, Politics, United States of America, USA


Sovereignty and superheroes marks a major new contribution to the emerging field of comic studies and the growing literature on superheroes. Using a range of critical theorists, the book examines superheroes as sovereigns, addressing amongst other things the complex treatment of law and violence, legitimacy and authority. It examines all the main characters including Superman, Batman, Captain America, Wonder Woman and Iron Man along with a host of other heroes and heroines within the Marvel and DC universes.

The book will be of interest to academics and students interested in the intersection between superhero comics, culture and politics. In a century thus far dominated by the war on terror, superheroes offer us the perfect opportunity to think through the nature of sovereignty in such times of emergency. The book not only guides the reader through some of the major story arcs in superhero comics, but also serves as an excellent introduction to a range of writings on the nature of sovereignty.


1. Legitimacy and the good
2. Defending freedom
3. Law and violence
4. Friend and enemy
5. States of emergency and bare life
6. Kinship
7. Sovereignty at the limit
8. Sovereign imagination


Neal Curtis is Associate Professor in Media, Film and Television at the University of Auckland

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