Comic Books and Culture

May 18, 2011


Comic books have long reflected the culture that created them. Captain America represented the power and patriotism of America during the Second World War, and Superman is seen as a symbol of "truth, justice and the American way." But the times are changing. Superman renounced his American citizenship in a recent issue of Action Comics. He said he did not want to be seen as a tool of American policy. What does it say that the “Man of Steel” no longer wants to be associated with the United States? And what can we learn about ourselves by reading comic books?

Host Frank Stasio talks about the cultural relevance of comic books with James Maxey, author of the superhero-themed novel "Nobody Gets the Girl" (Phobos Books/2003) and the Dragon Age Fantasy Series; Henry Jenkins, professor of communication, journalism, cinematic arts and education at the University of Southern California; and Missouri-based lawyer James Daily, creator and co-author of the blog "Law and the Multiverse."