Superpower vs Supernatural: Black Superheroes and the Quest for a Mutant Reality

Anna Beatrice Scott

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  1. Department of Dance, ARTS Building, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA; anna.scott@ucr.edu

Comic books can be understood as a visualization of oral folk culture in the US. Well beyond stereotype, these tales are informed by white supremacist visuality, circulating in mainstream culture as overdetermined narration. In this experimental article, the choreography of the panel and the choreography of the epidermis are explored in order to excavate the continuing problem of black superhero character development. Both white and black renderings of a superpowered black body are shown to have a limiting yet fulfilling perspective on blackness: that it is supernatural and therefore impossibly powerful. This supernaturalness is further explored as a site of antagonism to linear narration and fantasy-driven character development. The conflation of black everyday life with a supposedly fictional one reveals a central problem in white supremacist visioning of ‘the real’. Fascinating click to read 

 

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