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At The Gutter: Loving the Alien: Superman and Masculinity


Comics Editor Carol writes about Superman, masculinity, and the American Way:

Since alex, Chris and I decided to write about masculinity this month, I’ve been thinking about Superman. Actually, I’ve been thinking and rethinking Superman almost as long as I’ve been writing for The Cultural Gutter. I began really thinking about him while watching Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. I’ve spent most of my life—and certainly my childhood and teen years—ambivalent about him. I grew up with the stodgy, daddish Superman of SuperFriends.  Superman represented truth, justice and the American Way, a way that seemed all about straight white masculinity of the most rigid, hegemonic sort—a way that didn’t seem to include me. Whether as aspirational hero or adolescent power fantasy, it’s easy to see Superman as The Man.

art by Mike and Laura Allred, from The Superman/Madman Hullabaloo (Dark Horse/DC, 1998).