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UTD / Humanities / HUMA 1301 / superheroes study guide

superheroes study guide

superheroes study guide

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School: University of Texas at Dallas
Department: Humanities
Course: Exploration of the Humanities
Professor: Peter ingrao
Term: Spring 2016
Tags:
Cost: 50
Name: Humanities Final Exam/Exam 3 Study Guide
Description: Here's a study guide for the third exam and final exam! I uploaded it early to give time for studying, but I will be continuously updating it with more material. I'll send an email when it is final. It's very thorough, yet succinct. Hope it helps!!
Uploaded: 04/25/2017
32 Pages 382 Views 0 Unlocks
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What Makes Superman So Darned American?




What is a Superhero Film?




Where does it come from?



Syllabus Notes 1.9.17 Sunday, January 22, 2017 1:11 PM • BRING 2 packs 882E scantrons 1/11/17 * Description • Examine relationship to narratives as consumers & contributors • Movies we'll watch: Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, X-Men United, Man of Steel, The  Avengers, Superman II, Wolverine, X-Men Last Stand • Study importance of superheroes to understand our relation to them Objective • Connections b/n texts (Critical & Cinemark) & draw conclusions • Analyze & respond as examples of human expression & aesthetic ideological principles • Analyze & evaluate humanistic works in culture & society • Compare & contrast in terms of ethics & values Textbook • The Comic Book Film Adaptation, Liam Burke • Rent Off Campus Bookstore $13 • Download pdf FREE from UTD online library • ACCESS E-Reserve for other required readings Attendance • Assigned seating :/ • 3 or LESS unexcused absences, grade round UP. 3 or MORE, grade rounds DOWN. Extra Credit • 2 opportunities (listed in syllabus)  Humanities Page 1 Week 1 Notes 1/9-1/13 Sunday, January 22, 2017 1:26 PM Jan 9th Module Definition of Humanities  • Study human condition analytically, critically or speculatively • "Shared cultural heritage" --> "understand ourselves as humans" • Defining traits of person? • Ancient & modern languages, literary, history, philosophy, religion, & visual and performing arts Jan 11th Lecture Discussion w/ neighbors  1) Are Batman & Spiderman superheroes? 2) Why? Are superpowers necessary? Define powers  • Bitten by radioactive spider • Beyond ordinary; extranormal • Peak training; greatest (intelligence, fitness, willpower); gadgets • Supplement beyond human Will to do good? Where does it come from? • Mission • Possibly based in tragedy Is Tragic backstory needed? • Dramatic, theatrics • Fandom Time of action? Spiderman = whenever, Batman = night • Costume = identity • Practical choice Jan 13th Module What is a Superhero?  More Than Normal, but Believable, Stan Lee • Heroic deeds in way normal can't • "super" power rest of us don’t posses • "supervillain of equal/more power • Realistic world • Costume not required; fan expectation • Superheroes = fairytales for adults The Hero Defines the Genre, the Genre Defines the Hero, Peter Coogan • Mission, powers, identity • Fight evil & protect innocent; selfless "hero" • Ability & quality to perform above ordinary people; "super" • Code name & costume --> origin & personality • 1st superhero = Superman (June 1938)  Humanities Page 2 • 1st superhero = Superman (June 1938) Superheroes & Power, Dennis O'Neil • Need to identify w/ power • Plot stresses use in action • "Meme" = ideas, symbols, practices from one person to another (within a culture) Jan 13th Lecture Stan Lee Hero = 1) Heroic deeds, 2) Normal person can't Must have POWER (why we're fascinated) Costume not absolute; fan expectation Supervillain equal/more power as hero for challenge & doubling Peter Coogan 1) Mission = protect innocent, selfless/prosocial/proactive 2) Power = supernatural/advanced tech/inherent/training/mystical/alien 3) Identity = Code name & costume Enhances mission & power Anonymity = selfless Denis O'Neil Meme = DNA (powers) Transmission, one forms another, not original Unit of ideas/concepts Paratext Our definition 1) Mission/willpower to do good/ go beyond safety 2) Costume 3) Powers  Humanities Page 3 Week 2 Notes 1.18-1.20 Wednesday, January 25, 2017 12:10 PM Jan 18th Module What is a Superhero Film?  Chapter 1: Golden Age of Comic Book Filmmaking; Burke • (2000-2009) • Factors ○ Cultural trauma & celebration of heroes ▪ Post 9/11 ▪ Nostalgia, escapism & wish fulfillment Evidence for 9/11 precedent ▪ Film downplayed individualism of hero; revenger of injustice called into question ▪ Fault line stories = awkward, unresolved issues; plausibility in dispute ▪ Villains in context of terrorist ▪ Awareness of collateral damage ○ Advancements in digital ▪ Special effects attract audience ▪ Comics portrayed convincingly, unlike in other media Evidence for "technological determinist position" effects ▪ Bullet time = slow motion; camera appears to move around seemingly frozen object ○ Preexisting fan base & franchise opportunities ▪ Safe money markets due to merchandising Evidence for fan base & franchising opportunities effect ▪ Tap into serial nature of comics without diminishing returns ▪ Retroactive Continuity = refreshing of comic/character by streaming fictional history ▪ Trans-media Storytelling = story told across various media & contributing to whole so  reading sustains depth of experience motivating increase in consumption • Changing of the Guard ○ Grew up w/ fandom of comics --> making films ○ Fandom increase in 1960 --> comic legit & not kid stuff ○ Respectability = fans pay a lot; sold in bookstores > specialty shops Jan 20th-23rd Module Chapter 2: The Comic Book Movie Genre; Burke • Movie Needs ○ Familiarity w/ genre ○ Innovation within genre • Westerns ○ Tension between individual & community ○ Motivation ▪ Western: burnt settlement/murder of family ▪ Superhero: murder of loved one ○ Ride off ▪ Western: into sunest ▪ Superhero: swing, fly, leap away ○ Location ▪ Western: frontier ▪ Superhero: city ○ Traits that help defend community prevent from joining • Sci-Fi ○ Influence special effects • Aspects ○ Protagonist avenging ○ Superhuman abilities Heightened reality  Humanities Page 1 ○ Heightened reality ○ Expectations related to director/actor/actress • Growth ○ Articulation ○ Classical ▪ Archetypal Expression ▪ Exponential Expression ○ Revisionist Stationary ▪ Influence by other works in genre more than origin ○ Parody Jan 20th Lecture Quizzes • Things to Know ○ Dates on eLearning (ex. Film release) ○ Terms ○ Concepts ○ Author arguments ○ Discussion Questions 3 Factors of Film  1) Cultural Trauma 2) Digital Effects 3) Franchise/Fandom Vocabulary • Collateral damage • Fault line stories • Bullet-time • Trans-media storytelling Set up at end of film for next film Trans-media storytelling (p.65) • Across multiple platforms • Leaves gaps inbetween • Creates immersive experience • Add depth & meaning • Leads to consumption • Enabled multiple forms of feedback  Humanities Page 2 Week 3 Notes 1.23-1.27 Wednesday, January 25, 2017 12:10 PM Jan 20th-23rd Module Chapter 2: The Comic Book Movie Genre; Burke • Movie Needs ○ Familiarity w/ genre ○ Innovation within genre • Westerns ○ Tension between individual & community ○ Motivation ▪ Western: burnt settlement/murder of family ▪ Superhero: murder of loved one ○ Ride off ▪ Western: into sunset ▪ Superhero: swing, fly, leap away ○ Location ▪ Western: frontier ▪ Superhero: city ○ Traits that help defend community prevent from joining • Sci-Fi ○ Influence special effects • Aspects ○ Protagonist avenging ○ Superhuman abilities ○ Heightened reality ○ Expectations related to director/actor/actress • Growth ○ Articulation ○ Classical ▪ Archetypal Expression ▪ Exponential Expression ○ Revisionist Stationary ▪ Influence by other works in genre more than origin ○ Parody Jan 23rd Lecture Genre Points Commonalities with other Genres • Tension between individuals & community • Ride off into sunset • Hero motivated by trauma • Separate from community • Specific setting Differences with other Genres • Avenging in ways others can't ○ Loki and Thor are myth ○ Hulk = strength ○ Iron Man = digital armor • Heightened Reality  Humanities Page 1 • Heightened Reality ○ Break 4th wall ○ Mythical ○ Characters that can't be there ○ Costumes Jan 25th Module What Makes Superman So Darned American?, Gary Engle • 2 Identities 1. Superman ▪ Immigrant ▪ Difference stands out ▪ High mobility = fly anytime, sense of freedom ▪ Freedom allows him to move forward from past & reinvent himself in a new  location 2. Clark Kent ▪ He reinvents himself by assimilation ▪ Identities cannot combine: pride in Krypton (Superman) and assimilates to  Earth (Clark Kent) The Myth of Superman, Umberto Eco • Superheroes balance myth and everyday life ○ Inconsumable archetype in a consumable world (everyday life, not mythical) moving  toward the future • No clear progression of time ○ no irreversible premise ○ Reboot strategy = restarting series after irreversible decision occurs ○ Serial continuity = no clear progression between episodes over a long period of time • Illusion of continuous present ○ Change doesn't move plot forward, but REITERATES plot ○ Society in story seeks advancement ○ Superman = redundant themes • Civil Consciousness to protect property ○ Not a political consciousness ○ Small act, not global ○ Still consumable character & not part of continuity Jan 25th Lecture *continuing Burke from last class* Genre Development • Articulation (before 2000) ○ Ex: Mystery Man & Unbreakable ○ Draws from comic books • Classical (Golden Age) ○ Ex: X-Men (2000) ○ Conventions of genre • Stationary Revisionist ○ Ex: Dark Knight (2008) ○ Reference other films > comic books ○ Revise itself • Parody ○ Ex: Superhero Movie, Deadpool?  Humanities Page 2 Superman II (watch on Friday) • Deals with ideas in Engle & Eco Engle (Optimism) • Superman: immigrant --> orphan --> adopted --> middle class values --> Metropolis --> falls in love • Clark Kent = assimilation • Superman = true identity ○ Not hiding himself; proud ○ Speed, vision, strength ○ Can't die • 2 identities at once Eco (Serial Continuity) • Often broken in specialty comics ○ Ex: Superman capture Nazis ▪ Defies serial continuity (ends world crime) ▪ Disrespectful to GIs still in battle Jan 27th - Feb 1st Module Superman II (1980) • Directed by Richard Lester ○ Praised for special effects & portrayal of "flying man" ○ Hope and integrity; bright, forward American Lee & Coogan: power, costume &  mission in film ○ Engle: Superman II = assimilated immigrant with pride in heritage ○ Eco: Man of Steel = optimism --> skepticism of immigration • Themes ○ All-American & empowered immigrant ○ Truth, justice, & American way ○ Wonder & awe of character & power ▪ Man of Steel: power = threat ○ Serial continuity • Characters ○ Superman/Clark Kent Superman = Emblem of American spirit Engle: Superman v. Clark Kent ▪ Survived Krypton; powers protect Earth; immigrant & American ○ General Zod, Ursa & Non ▪ Krypton criminals escaped Phantom Zone; conquer/enslave Earth ○ Lex Luther ▪ Criminal genius; lack of morals ○ Lois Lane ▪ Reporter; love interest; serial continuity challenged Jan 27th Lecture Umberto Eco Eco: serial continuity in film • Serial continuity: no clear consumable progression from one episode to next ○ Superman - Archetype ○ Fixed point ○ Inconsumable ○ Time passes, things change = consumable world • Wish fulfillment ○ Easily recognizable Typical  Humanities Page 3 ○ Typical ○ Time is an illusion; just a suspension of time • Example ○ Episode 1: Superman fights Lex Luthor, Ep 2: Superman fights Doomsday', Ep 3: Superman fights Zod ▪ Serial continuity preserved ▪ Small actions of civil consciousness do not end all crime ○ Episode 1: Superman fights Lex Luthor, Ep 2: Superman marries Lois & achieves world peace, Ep 3:  Superman has Superbaby, Ep 3: Superman dies ▪ Breaks serial continuity ▪ Need to "reboot" series from beginning • One-offs ○ Films/comics outside of regular flow of story do not always observe serial continuity ○ WWII Superman stops Hitler ▪ Popular among GI soldiers as distraction & hope ▪ Seen as disrespectful to the GI soldiers since the war is not actually over and can't end as easily as  Superman makes it seem ▪ If Superman ends war, then what next?  Humanities Page 4 Week 4 Notes 1.30-2.03 Thursday, February 2, 2017 12:27 PM Jan 27th - Feb 1st Module Superman II (1980) • Directed by Richard Lester ○ Praised for special effects & portrayal of "flying man" ○ Hope and integrity; bright, forward American Lee & Coogan: power, costume &  mission in film ○ Engle: Superman II = assimilated immigrant with pride in heritage ○ Eco: Man of Steel = optimism --> skepticism of immigration • Themes ○ All-American & empowered immigrant ○ Truth, justice, & American way ○ Wonder & awe of character & power ▪ Man of Steel: power = threat ○ Serial continuity • Characters ○ Superman/Clark Kent Superman = Emblem of American spirit Engle: Superman v. Clark Kent ▪ Survived Krypton; powers protect Earth; immigrant & American ○ General Zod, Ursa & Non ▪ Krypton criminals escaped Phantom Zone; conquer/enslave Earth ○ Lex Luther ▪ Criminal genius; lack of morals ○ Lois Lane ▪ Reporter; love interest; serial continuity challenged Feb 3rd Module Man of Steel (2013) • Directed by Zach Snyder ○ Origin story ○ Skews optimism Eco: serial continuity in film ○ Xenophobic, not Engle: most American (assimilation and immigration) ▪ Ex: Jonathan Kent tells son to keep powers secret or world will fear ○ Abandon Krypton to prove loyalty to America ○ Commit murder ○ Psychological realism ○ Praise effects & action; "truth" of portrayal in question • Themes ○ Xenophobia = fear of foreign/strange ○ Conflicted Superhero; may kill ○ Increased realism ○ Terrorism & collateral damage • Characters ○ Superman/Clark Kent Compare to Superman II hero ▪ Krypton survivor; powers protect Earth; fear & inspiration ○ General Zod, Faora-Ul ▪ Krypton criminals escaped Phantom Zone; recreate Krypton; human genocide;  sympathetic = motivation  Humanities Page 1 sympathetic = motivation ○ Jor-El ▪ Biological father; inspire Earth; Krypton ○ Jonathan & Martha Kent ▪ Adopted parents; inspiration v fear & persecution of powers (xenophobia) ○ Lois Lane ▪ Reporter; love interest ○ Steve Lombard ▪ Reporter; common sense ○ Colonel Nathan Hardy ▪ Enemy to ally (Superman)  Humanities Page 2 Week 5 Notes 2.08-2.10 Friday, February 17, 2017 10:22 PM Feb 8th-10th Module Chapter 3: Fans, Fidelity, and the Grammar of Value; Burke • Adaptation ○ Current comic fans focus on film > traditional reading ▪ Video games, novels, animated series, etc. ▪ Increased visibility of characters • Fans = consumer & producer ○ Studios adapting from comics have built-in audience ▪ Early directors downplayed fan influence ▪ Duncan & Smith: fan = taking part in the dialogue ○ Fan influence over time ▪ 1960s; college students want comics to address mature concerns ▪ Print & online forums ▪ Bullpen (lettercol) = Stan Lee; fans communicating with fans, authors & artists ▪ Fanzines = amateur publications; discussion, art, news; fan culture ▪ Rise of specialty store = talk w/ authors & artists ▪ Sell books back; collectors ▪ 1964 NY Comic-Con; 1st convention ○ Amplification = fan discussion; influence • Fidelity ○ Interest ▪ Readers = collectors ▪ Read for years ▪ Direct distribution = never miss an issue ▪ Reprinting enables fans to compare character history ○ Establish: company logo before film/trailer; publicize creators ○ Architextuality = generic categories suggested/refused by title/subtitle Feb 8th Lecture *Exams back* *Quiz Friday over Chapter 3 reading* Man of Steel validity - Complicated question Fandom Expectation (fidelity) • Not 1:1 comparison, but dialogue between all ○ Man of Steel (2013) ○ Superman (1980) • Compare to other films/productions ○ (1938) 1st Superman appearance = Action Comics #1 ○ Superman Returns, Superman III & IV movies ○ Animated Series ○ (1940) Animation ▪ Warner Bros (optional watch) ○ Video games/books • Defining superhero & creating superhero • Bradford Wright "Comic Book Nation" Fandom  Humanities Page 1 Fandom • Began late 1960s; college kids concerned about real issues ○ No more escapism or nostalgia • Contact w/ creators (letter column) • Fanzines: amateur publication with discussion • Comic book (specialty stores) • Conventions  Feb 10th Lecture Burke • Paradigm shift in books • Traditional reader = supplemental by other media • Fans promote trans-media storytelling ○ Watch film ○ Participate/be character • Factors of history/fidelity ○ Collector ○ Continued reading ○ Direct distribution ○ Reprint • Amplification = influence film ○ Power of internet • Fidelity affects marketing/publicity ○ IRONMAN posters Batman Retrograde *Tony Starks & his drinking problem *Articulation* • Introduced in Detective Comics #27; Bob Kane & Bill Finger  • Superman stared Golden Age of Comic Book Filmmaking Fans = IMPORTANT to industry; COLLABORATION  Humanities Page 2 Week 6 Notes 2.13-2.17 Friday, February 17, 2017 10:22 PM Feb 13th Module Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy Man, Myth & Cultural Icon, Paul Levitz • Historical/Cultural overview of audience response to Batman since 1939 introduction ○ Pulp & film influences on Batman = original ▪ Ex: The Shadow, The Bat, Zorro ○ (1940s) = child friendly; Robin; branding (ex: Batmobile) ○ (1950s-1960s) = science fiction ▪ (1966) tv show (camp element) ○ (1970s) = darker, physical optic ▪ "Dark Knight Detective" - Dennis O'Neil ○ (1986) = Frank Miller books "Batman: Dark Knight Returns" & "Batman: Year One" ▪ Origin = central focus ○ (1989) = Miller influenced Burton's Batman ○ (2005-2012) = Nolan's Batman trilogy ▪ Psychology & realism = focus • Superman = superhero boom (1938) ○ More consistent over time than Batman • Why is Batman different? ○ Origin story not in first appearance ○ Batman functions as icon Feb 13th Lecture *Quiz back next class* *Transition to Levitz's Batman* Burke • Fans v. Burton's "Batman" ○ Amplification = fan word of mouth; co-creators, not passive ○ Burton change trailer to reassure/appease fans • 1986 "Bat Bible" - Dennis O'Neil (editor of Batman)  ○ What you can & cannot do to Batman ○ Determined to end crime, without sacrificing victims ○ Not insane; obsessed ○ Celibate; no time for romantic/personal life ○ Never kill • Batman Begins (2005) - Christopher Nolan ○ "I'm not going to kill you, but I'm not going to save you." • Architextuality = general categories suggested by title/subtitle ○ "Batman Begins" disconnects from past films (Burton's) & reassures fans • Tim Burton's "Batman" apology video emphasizes power of fan base Levitz • Batman drawn from Zorro & the Shadow ○ 1926 "The Bat" = fear; Batman > Birdman;  ○ 1940 friendly Batman; Joker; heavily branded ○ 1966 tv show  ○ 1970 Dark Knight Detective - O'Neil ▪ A lot of Nolan comes from O'Neal & Miller  Humanities Page 1 ▪ A lot of Nolan comes from O'Neal & Miller ○ 1986 Batman Returns - Frank Miller ▪ Year One; Batman origin ▪ Is Batman a vigilante or just seeking justice? Batman exits building after saving Rachel & calls for backup - Batman Begins; from scene in Year 1 comic Feb 15th Module • Authorship Theory ○ Author's choices are rooted in their personal history ▪ Concept decreased in the 1960s due to rise of deconstruction ○ Intertextuality = text connects what came before & what surrounds ○ Scripter = editor/recycler > traditional creator ○ Reader receives & passes meaning ○ Paratexts = surrounding text leads reader to the work itself • Christopher Nolan ○ Prior to Batman ▪ (1999) Following, (2000) Momento, (2002) Insomnia ○ (2005) Batman Begins ▪ Initial focus on Batman > Nolan (not a brand name yet) • Robert Stam ○ Adaptation does not mean loss; original "lost in translation" ○ Adaptation = "exchange of energy"; energy redistributed ○ Unstable; Batman not mean the same as in 1998, 1967, 1943 • Bakhtin's Dialogism ○ Dialogism = meaning does not come from a single text, but from the dialogue  between texts (relationship) • Batman/Batmatrix ○ Every story is an adaptation with a twist Feb 15th Lecture *Extra Credit Lecture Friday 24th; due Monday* Batman (Levitz) • Batman & Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles image ○ Offensive to fans? Out of character? • OUR DEFINITION ○ Nolan (2005-2012) ○ Stark/serious (no smile) ○ Urgency (deliberate) ○ Analytical ○ Not happy ○ Balance • Late origin story (not in first comic issue) • Lots of branding & recognition (Batmobile, Batcopter) Batman (Nolan) • Batman Begins poster ○ Author intent challenged in 1960s "Deconstruction" movement  ○ Derrida: death of author ○ Intertextuality ▪ No one meaning; a plethora of meanings ▪ Miller, comic & reader influence each other ▪ All blend & clash; interact with each other ▪ Writers are never truly original  Humanities Page 2 ▪ Writers are never truly original ▪ "Scripter" Bruce Wayne is "waiting to be Batman" Feb 17th - 20th Module Iconography of Superheroes Batman Begins (2005) • Directed by Christopher Nolan ○ Reboot = retelling of origin focused on psychology of Bruce & drive to be Superman ○ Audience emotionally care • Characters ○ Batman/Bruce Wayne ▪ Orphan billionaire; Batman = justice for parents; "Dark Knight" ○ Ra's al Ghul ▪ Trained Bruce in League of Shadows; kill criminals & sacrifice innocent ○ Scarecrow/Jonathan Craine ▪ Pychopharm; Arkham Asylum; help create fear toxins ○ Alfred Pennyworth ▪ Bruce's butler; raised Bruce; moral advice ○ Lucius Fox ▪ Weapons & tech for Batman ○ James (Jim) Gordon ▪ Honest officer; bend rules for Batman ○ Rachel Dawes ▪ Assistant DA; Bruce's childhood friend & love-interest ○ Carmine Falcone ▪ Head of mob; works with Ra's & Scarecrow; help smuggle toxins in • Reception Revenge v. Justice in film ○ Positive; realistic, search for father figure, overcome fear; revenge v. justice ○ O'Neil praise: reboot understood character; best to date Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud • Icon = image representing person, place, thing or idea ○ Symbols & Icons of Language, Science & Communication ▪ Invisible ideas, concepts & philosophies ▪ Appearance doesn’t affect meaning ○ Pictures ▪ resemble subject ▪ Meaning is fluid; differ from "real life" • Anthromorphism = humanlike animals/objects I'm Not Fooled by That Cheap Disguise, William Urricio & Roberta Pearson • Traits of Batman ○ Wealth(heir to fortune), physical prowess, obsessed, not crazy, deductive ability,  celibate • Events ○ Origin story/ why fight crime ○ Action(ongoing crime fighting) defines Batman • Characters Robin, Gordon, Joker, Two-Face Compare Batman in Nolan's  film & Urrichio/Pearson traits  Humanities Page 3 ○ Robin, Gordon, Joker, Two-Face • Setting ○ Gotham/Urban • Iconography ○ Cape & cowl, logo, gauntlets, extensions (bat-a-rang)  Humanities Page 4 Week 7 Notes 2.20-2.24 Wednesday, February 22, 2017 4:35 AM Feb 17th - 20th Module Iconography of Superheroes Batman Begins (2005) • Directed by Christopher Nolan ○ Reboot = retelling of origin focused on psychology of Bruce & drive to be Superman ○ Audience emotionally care • Characters ○ Batman/Bruce Wayne ▪ Orphan billionaire; Batman = justice for parents; "Dark Knight" ○ Ra's al Ghul ▪ Trained Bruce in League of Shadows; kill criminals & sacrifice innocent ○ Scarecrow/Jonathan Craine ▪ Pychopharm; Arkham Asylum; help create fear toxins ○ Alfred Pennyworth ▪ Bruce's butler; raised Bruce; moral advice ○ Lucius Fox ▪ Weapons & tech for Batman ○ James (Jim) Gordon ▪ Honest officer; bend rules for Batman ○ Rachel Dawes ▪ Assistant DA; Bruce's childhood friend & love-interest ○ Carmine Falcone ▪ Head of mob; works with Ra's & Scarecrow; help smuggle toxins in • Reception Revenge v. Justice in film ○ Positive; realistic, search for father figure, overcome fear; revenge v. justice ○ O'Neil praise: reboot understood character; best to date Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud • Icon = image representing person, place, thing or idea ○ Symbols & Icons of Language, Science & Communication ▪ Invisible ideas, concepts & philosophies ▪ Appearance doesn’t affect meaning ○ Pictures ▪ resemble subject ▪ Meaning is fluid; differ from "real life" • Anthromorphism = humanlike animals/objects I'm Not Fooled by That Cheap Disguise, William Urricio & Roberta Pearson • Traits of Batman ○ Wealth(heir to fortune), physical prowess, obsessed, not crazy, deductive ability, celibate • Events ○ Origin story/ why fight crime ○ Action(ongoing crime fighting) defines Batman • Characters ○ Robin, Gordon, Joker, Two-Face • Setting Gotham/Urban Compare Batman in Nolan's  film & Urrichio/Pearson traits  Humanities Page 1 ○ Gotham/Urban • Iconography ○ Cape & cowl, logo, gauntlets, extensions (bat-a-rang) Feb 20th Lecture Anthromorphism = giving nonhuman thing human qualities • Batman as ICON ○ Comic portrayals (drawings) of superhero = spectrum from realistic to basic ▪ Basic drawing = you can picture yourself as superhero; realistic drawing = difficult  because drawing is too specific ▪ Bale's portrayal of Batman v. Affleck's ○ What traits & characteristics does Batman possess? ▪ Brooker: myth, brand, cannon Our definition: serious, stoic, urgency/deliberate, greatest detective, worried, no  ▪ smile/happiness ▪ Urrichio & Pearson = 5 categories: wealth, physical prowess, not insane, obsessed,  detective, celibate Traits (relating to Batman Begins) • Wealth ○ Hotel scene (I'll buy the hotel) ○ More real/True self: Bruce Wayne v. Batman (idea/symbol; can't be corrupted) ▪ What is Batman an idea/symbol of? Vigilante or hero? • Physical Prowess ○ Training in mountains ○ Supa fit man • Detective ○ Solve releasing of toxins in air  ○ Solve microwave emitter stolen • Celibate ○ Should ending with Rachel be changed? ○ Not celibate by choice, but by Rachel's decision ○ Has a romantic interest • Some qualities are consistent & go across the spectrum of myth, brand & cannon (like wealth;  Bruce is always wealthy), but other's don't (like celibacy; sometimes Bruce is celibate, sometimes  he has a love-interest & acts on his interest) Setting • Gotham/Urban area Recurrent Events • Fight villains, Trauma Recurrent Characters • Joker, Alfred, Gordon Iconography • Cowl, cape, boots, symbol, costume in general, gadgets Setting, Recurrent Events/Characters & Iconography all go across spectrum of myth, brand & cannon Feb 22nd - 24th Module The Dark Knight (2008) • Directed by Christopher Nolan ○ Higher Nolan recognition due to Batman Begins ○ Wider political issues (9/11) ○ Nolan downplayed in posters & trailer, but responded to in authorship role ○ Superhero genre transformed ○ Initially Batman three-part, but not a trilogy; Dark Knight = Bruce deeper into  Batman  Humanities Page 2 Batman ○ 2nd movie to break $500M in North America • Characters ○ Batman/Bruce Wayne ▪ "Dark Knight" ○ Joker ▪ Chaos; no clear past ○ Two Face/Harvey Dent Joker = broken grotesque ▪ "White Knight;" DA fight criminals legally; transformed into villain; chance is his  only "morality" ○ Alfred Pennyworth ▪ Bruce's butler; raised Bruce; moral advisor & father figure ○ Lucius Fox ▪ Weapons & tech for Batman; CEO of Wayne Enterprises ○ Coleman Reese ▪ Accountant at Wayne's Enterprises; threatens to reveal Batman ○ James (Jim) Gordon ▪ Honest officer; bend rules for Batman ○ Detective Ana Ramirez & Detective Wuertz ▪ Corrupt officers ○ Rachel Dawes ▪ Assistant DA; Bruce's childhood friend & love-interest ○ Salvatore Maroni ▪ New Falcone head (Falcone sent to Arkham Asylum) ○ Gambol ▪ Mob boss killed by Joker ○ Lau ▪ Mob accountant Rabelais & His World, Mikhail Bakhtin Joker attempt anarchy; Gotham already  overrun w/ crime • Serious ceremonies coexisted with humorous, parodic ones • Clowns mimicked serious, "official" rituals ○ Ex: Feast of Fools (medieval), Topsy Turvy Day (The Hunchback of Notre Dame) ○ Parodying doubles • Parodying double in Batman's villains & vice versa Carnival is temporary; Joker & Harvey/Two Face? Batman  price to restore order? • Carnival is temporary; if normal, villains would be heroes; norm must be restored • Carnival figure pushed in corners & isolated; clowns = tragic & isolated Feb 22nd Lecture Batman role & power in Gotham - Portrayal in Batman Begins - Bakhtin - parodying double (villains = mirror reflection) ○ Vigilante/hero ○ Revenge/justice ○ Ra's wanted to end crime like Batman, just in a worse way - 3 levels = myth, brand & cannon ○ Brand = specific to film/studio (ex: Warner Bros portrayal) Vigilante • Commissioner Loeb: Batman is outside the law; people can't just take the law into their own hands Police view; no help; stop progress  Humanities Page 3 ○ Police view; no help; stop progress ○ Police is corrupt & criminal own: bribes, Falcone can shoot in front of cop ▪ Batman HAS to be outside to fight the corruption ○ "Do I look like a cop?" -IP; batman tactics • Car chase attempt to save Rachel  ○ innocent life? Not selfless because he cares for her? Hero • Identity ○ Code = When law fails, Batman has his own code ○ Symbol = Progression • Bruce & Gordon "Now we're two;" few honest men in corrupt society • Ra's = traditional vigilante; above law, eliminate crime, restore balance ○ "You destroyed my house & left me for dead. Now your turn" ; balance ○ Difference from Batman = willingness to kill ▪ Myth variation; cannon ▪ Fine line b/n "won't kill & won't save" ▪ Most good for most people ○ Coogan definition of Superhero = protect innocent ▪ Ra's isn't innocent ○ Initially Batman/Bruce followed Ra's: took law in hand, eye for an eye, kill Chill (parent's murderer) ;  vigilante • Batman's life = recurrent events; Urrichio & Pearson Batman as Icon/Symbol = higher philosophical purpose; justice; more than man; an idea; incorruptible  (Coogan's mission?) Conversation with Rachel outside of Hotel dictates his choices Feb 24th Lecture *Office hours = describe PowerPoints* *A Mirror for the Bat: Evil Citizens of Gotham City, Part 1* Feast of Fools = limited (not forever) • Outsiders are King for a day ○ Clown = inversion of social order ○ Meaning is created in relationships • Law : Merrymaking ○ Batman (code) : Joker (chaos) ○ Not fighting forces; exchange of power ○ Similarities > differences ○ Parodying double; possibility for overlap ○ "you complete me" - Joker Bakhtin Dialogism • Scripter/Author • Myth/Brand/Cannon • Carnival Gotham is corrupt before Joker • Examples Maroni owns banks  Humanities Page 4 ○ Maroni owns banks ○ Lao (accountant); police ○ Sneak a gun into court (from Batman Begins) • Joker is after both Batman & the Mob ○ "better class of criminals" than Mob ○ Joker & Batman have higher mission ○ Invert truth (greatest schemer) ○ Broken grotesque • Mob (code) : Joker (chaos) • Harvey (law) : Joker (chaos) • Inversion, not polar opposites ▪ temporary ▪ Batman needs to overcome; return to normal order  Humanities Page 5 Stan Lee. "More Than Normal, but Believable" Friday, February 3, 2017 10:43 AM INTRODUCTION • Stan "The Man" Lee ○ Marvel (at 19) : Incredible Hulk, Fantastic Four, Thor, Spider-Man, Iron Man, X-Men ○ Realism = easy to relate to characters & plights Lee • Superhero ○ heroic deeds in a way normal can't = power for good ○ Policeman & fireman aren't SUPERheroes ○ Connection between personality & power not necessary ▪ Ex: Fantastic Four • Super Villain ○ Power for evil ○ Equal or greater power than superhero ▪ Makes story interesting & fun • Realism ○ Set in real world or realistic imaginary world ○ Superhero has friends, enemies, love, dislike; humanistic ○ Contrast b/n power & normal world --> believable & interesting • Costume ○ Superman ▪ Birth of superheroes - Power & costume ○ Ex: Zorro & Doc Savage don't have power, just skill ○ Ex: Shadow has power but no costume ○ Costume isn't necessary ▪ Serves at identity ▪ Fan expectation • Superheroes = fairytales for adults  Humanities Page 1 Peter Coogan. The Hero Defines the Genre, the Genre  Defines the Hero Friday, February 3, 2017 10:44 AM Coogan • Superhero ○ Protagonist of genre ○ Superman = 1st Superhero (Action Comics #1 1938) ○ Mission, Power & Identity ○ Imitation & repetition are necessary ○ Every genre has central dynamic ▪ Western: civilization > savagery ▪ Detective: solution of mystery ▪ Superhero: extraordinary power for justice ○ Dictionary Definition ▪ Mission = heroic; universal, prosocial & selfless ▪ Power = extraordinary abilities, advanced tech, developed physical/mental skills ▪ • Mission Identity = distinct code name & costume (express biography, character, powers,  origin); often have dual identities (secret) ○ Hero ○ Fight evil & protect innocent ○ Universal, prosocial & selfless ○ Ordinary people who perform selfless acts can fit "superhero" metaphor (not really  superheroes) ○ All superheroes are prosocial, not all prosocial are superheroes ▪ Superman & Doc Savage (do-good adventurer) ○ Superheroes actively seek to protect • Powers ○ Super ○ Exaggeration in genre; central defining element of superhero ○ Abilities & qualities above ordinary people ○ Often supernatural (defies laws of physics) but doesn't have to be ▪ Ex: Batman (highly trained, martial arts) ○ No need to be inherent in body ▪ Ex: Iron Man (genius, advanced tech), Green Lantern (willpower, ring) ○ Can be extraordinary ▪ X-Men (mutants) ○ Superman ▪ Super strength/speed/leaping; invulnerable ▪ Fly, heat & x-ray vision, cooling breath, time travel ▪ Used powers for selfless mission • Identity ○ Clearest marker of genre ○ Code name (w/ secret identity) ▪ Ex: Superman & Clark Kent, Spiderman & Peter Parker ▪ Conveys mission/powers/origin/personality ▪ Ex: Superman (superior person), Captain America (patriotic mission), Spiderman  (spider powers), Batman (fear of bat --> terrorize criminals), Hulk (gargantuan,  strength, dull & sluggish thought) ○ Costume ▪ Also conveys mission/power/origin/personality  Humanities Page 1 ▪ Also conveys mission/power/origin/personality ▪ Ex: Superman costume (blankets from Krypton, S family crest; heritage & source of  powers), Captain America costume (American flag), Spiderman costume (announce  powers), Batman costume (bat inspired identity) ▪ Basic Components = Tights w/ shorts over, cape, chevron, belt, boots, mask ▪ Announces & places hero in community • Genre ○ Core = mission, power & identity ▪ Preponderance/totality of all 3 ○ Heroes can exist w/o all three ○ Complicated network of similarities; family resemblances ○ Indistinct boundaries b/n genres due to sharing of conventions ▪ Heroes who are super v. superheroes ▪ Ex: Zorro, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Hercules, James Bond, Luke Skywalker, Harry  Potter ▪ Costumed vigilante v. superhero ▪ Superheroes' powers differ in degree ○ Code name = public identity everyone recognizes; different personality ○ Costume = visual embodiment of mission/power/origin/personality; iconic connection ○ Changes over time but core remains  Humanities Page 2 Gary Engle. "What Makes Superman so Darned  American?" Wednesday, January 25, 2017 12:11 AM INTRODUCTION • "The Popular Culture Formula" ○ find meaning and significance in "mindless entertainment."  ○ Tell more about culture ○ Ex: comic books pop. >50 years ▪ Superman reveals real myths, beliefs & values ▪ ^ embodies 4 "morality tales" - Robert Reich ▪ ^ triumphant, strives to succeed, vision of benevolent comm. united to eliminate rot  at top - Gary Engle ▪ ^ flag w/ human face • Heroes = contradictory traits/qualities important to Americans --> believe in contradictory ○ ENGLE Ex: Clark Kent & Superman = need to assimilate & conform v. maintain individual, immigrant  identity ▪ Melting pot v. "politically correct" ▪ Superman = angel from advanced planet? Messiah? Ideal immigrant? • John Wayne v. Superman --> no end to potency of being; battle can't happen; John Wayne = older  brother • Superman = American hero; only mythic nature; beliefs, conventions & traditions of Americans ○ FACTS: Krypton explode; orphan --> Earth (Smallville);adopted middle class --> Metropolis;  defender; pursue Lois Lane ▪ 50 years ○ Immigrant & Orphan • Immigrant ○ Americans (except Indians) originate elsewhere ○ Superman = REAL consummate, uncompromised alien in bright costume ▪ Not normal; powers = ethnic, protect &preserve vitality of foster comm. ○ Immigrant ethnicity = sustain American culture / language, art, economics, politics &  spirituality ▪ Superman = value of immigrant ○ Americans coming to term w/ immigrant --> literature & pop culture = dislocation,  doomed/devoted to constant physical movement ▪ Ex: Daniel Boone, Natty Bumppo, Huck Finn, Winster Virginian, Gatsby, Lost  Generation, Okies, Annie, cowboys ▪ Motion, searching for dream, not grow old ▪ National sense of rootlessness from identity founded on immigration • Mobility ○ Integral part of American dream work ○ Take wheels = take manhood ▪ Ex: Jack Kerouac, Charles Kurault ○ Suggests neurotic aimlessness under mask of adventure ○ Superman fly at will (Greek Hermes/Zeus)  ▪ Excels American Dream ▪ Reveals meaning of mobility ▪ Speed = close to everywhere ▪ Displacement not possible; sense of self not dispersed by migration, enhanced by all  he can occupy ▪ American's can't resist his immunity to anxiety of dislocation  Humanities Page 1 ▪ American's can't resist his immunity to anxiety of dislocation ○ Dislocation = social & psychological movement ▪ Ex: ancestors ▪ Upward mobility, westward expansion, sunbelt relocation ▪ Can't end up where began ▪ Forsake/lose past to reinvent self in future ▪ Orphans HAVE to reinvent • Orphan ○ Superman reinvents himself -->Clark Kent = immobile, weak (insecurities = illusionary  weaknesses) ○ Westerns ▪ John Duke no sissy ▪ Why love > horses to ride, guns to shoot, outlaws to kill? ▪ Poor judgement ○ Shift from Kent --> Superman = cultural assimilation ▪ Western = imaginative record of west migration/settlement ▪ Savagery (independence, self-reliance, personal honor), frontier, conflict &  negotiation ▪ Assimilate or leave ▪ Old & new identities matter • Balance 2 Identities ○ Westerns ▪ entertaining, not relatable ▪ Pastoral (rural) = 19th cent. Western; Rural --> Metropolitan = 20th cent. Superman ▪ Historical = westward migration ▪ Doesn’t balance past & future ○ Superman ▪ closer to personal experience ▪ old identity, prejudice, second-class & poverty, assimilation ▪ Ex: Jews ▪ School stress rapid assimilation = American values --> embarrass/contempt of parent  values --> rediscover roots ▪ "reward for pursuing American Dream is longing for what's lost in process" ▪ Balance old & new = inspiring ▪ 1st blending of identities stressing pride, confidence, integrity & well-being ▪ Kal-El = "all that is God" □ Saint, angel, immigrant from heaven to deliver man & sacrifice self ○ Clark Kent  ▪ Essential; Myth needs 2 identities ▪ Protect parents & add moral guidance from upbringing (Jonathan Kent said use power  for good) ▪ Visible invisibility ▪ Not real; cultural norms are illusion ▪ One identity = where he comes from, second = where he's going ▪ Superman = power to save humanity, Kent = make him want to do it  Humanities Page 2 Paul Levitz. "Man, Myth, & Cultural Icon" Friday, March 3, 2017 7:40 PM Levitz • Portrayal of Batman = most elastic; capable of capturing several different tones/depictions ○ Why do people respond powerfully to certain versions of Batman ▪ Evidence = success of those versions ▪ Consider way lives of Batman differ from each other ▪ • Superman Connect with public in varied ways (ex: 1939 original, camp humor of 1960s tv show; dark Burton & Nolan  films) ○ 1st Superhero (1938); considered most important ▪ took elements from other genres to next level/exaggeration ▪ Success kick started comic book industry & "superhero" term ○ Lacks ability to thrive in different versions; remains consistent ▪ Each version since original share fundamental characteristics ▪ Dramatic adventures w/ romantic comedy love triangle ▪ "Smallville" tv show = different (maturing Clark, no costume & no Lois), but still mimicked Superman  drama & Lois eventually joined cast ○ Captain Marvel (outsold Superman & Batman during this period) & Wonder Woman also couldn't transcend  original interpretations ○ Why is Batman different? ▪ Not due to craft & experience of creators or prep development & forethought • Origin Story  ○ not disclosed in first appearance (revealed after 6 months & ignored) ○ Origins of other heroes have direct link to villains ▪ Burton: Batman origin link to Joker refuted as non-canonical ○ Less dependent on origin & created spontaneously  • Icon ○ Created as loosely drawn & defined sketch ○ Adopted from pulp magazines ▪ Playboy secret identity ▪ Police ally ▪ Murderous, criminal opponents ○ Villains = visually extreme & outrageous ▪ Ex: Catwoman, Penguin, Joker ○ Sidekick = young boy ▪ Admire Batman Brilliance, "Boy Target" ○ 1940s & 50s = less dangerous & pulp-influenced; lighter; child-friendly ▪ Batman survived, but survival does not equate cultural success ▪ Branding = Introduce Batmobile, Batcopter, Bat-signal ○ 1950s-60s = mimic sci-fi/monster movies ○ 1960s = new look; sleek; yellow around emblem; detection ▪ Dozier inspired by 1940s movie serials ▪ 1966 'camp' & pop art on tv = giant sound effects, exaggerated seriousness; star-studded; comic-book  come to life ▪ Cultural hegemony = dress/act like Batman, toys & products, imitations ▪ Thrived even though content was far from original ▪ Same characters, relationships, props & costume, but with Humorous tone body language, combat &  exaggeration ▪ Influenced comics; increased sales ○ 1970s = Denny O'Neil, back to dramatic; Dark Knight Detective; night action; perch like bat; disappear; swinging;  shadows/dark lighting ▪ Same character identities & elements, different presentation 1986 = Frank Miller, broke all boundaries; big change  Humanities Page 1 ○ 1986 = Frank Miller, broke all boundaries; big change ▪ Dark Knight Returns = layered storytelling, complex political/social overtone, aged/battered serious hero ▪ Batman: Year One = rework origin  ▪ Acclaim outside of comic community ▪ 1989 Heavy influence on Tim Burton movie; towering/menacing Gotham ▪ Synthesis of previous & personal work; original melodrama & broad visuals became darker & menacing  (ex: rubber armor costume) ▪ Symbol spread film awareness = simple icon is essence of Batman to consumers ○ 2005-2012 = Christopher Nolan trilogy; human tragedy of Bruce's life ▪ Dark Knight (2008) sparked phenomenon (in part by Heath Ledger death) ▪ Tons of products & merchandise ▪ Same essentials of Batman but depicted differently ▪ Emphasis on reality • Summary ○ Propelled by power of media; continually evolving comics; variety of depictions ○ Camp humor, dark melodrama, noir tragedy ○ Why is Batman different? ▪ created as simple, iconic image ▪ incomplete = find own meaning & manipulate structure ▪ Simplicity = shape character easier that photo image ▪ Create character to reflect personal roots; Scott McCloud ▪ Dozier = absurd, Burton = visual melodrama, Nolan = tragedy ▪ Branding = instantly recognizable  Humanities Page 2 Umberto Eco. "The Myth of Superman" Wednesday, January 25, 2017 9:47 AM • Superman = mythical, sign for humans • From The Role of the Reader ○ Reader interacts, digests, consumes never swallows Superman; cyclical • Exemplifies nature of reader ○ "self-identification" of reader & Superman mortality; can't identify with immortal ○ Romantic demand love & impossible adventures, loss f progression ○ Make superman successful; mythical and relatable • Imaginary Tales =need for romantic and satisfaction  ○ Reader not be fulfilled if superman marries Lois; end courtship, not question if love  returned; another step towards death; irreversible premise ○ Never have milestones that relate to progression of time --> end in sight • Also true in cartoon ○ Ex: longevity of Simpsons (19 yrs.); no one ages, same clothes/catchphrases ○ Redundancy & tendency to follow topical gestures of topical characters whose stick  behavior we already love ○ Comfort & familiarity ○ "what if" hypotheticals  Humanities Page 1 Exam 1 Study Guide Thursday, February 2, 2017 4:06 PM QUIZ KEY POINTS "Golden Age of Comic Book Filmmaking" - Burke - Golden Age is 2000-2009 - Fault-line Stories : address awkward unresolved issues; question plausibility - Evidence 9/11 events led to boom in comic book movies ○ Even split b/n audience members over & under age 25 ○ Even split b/n gender of audience members - Bullet time : slow motion technique; camera appears to move around near-frozen object - Evidence franchise opportunities & pre-existing fan base contribute to film success ○ Franchise can tap into serial nature without diminishing returns ○ Pre-existing merchandise surrounding characters ○ Ret-conning in comics transferred to reboots of films - Graphic novels in mainstream bookstores > specialty comic shops showed growing respectability "What Makes Superman So Darned American" - Engle - Basic facts that make up core of Superman ○ Orphan ○ Adopted by Jonathan & Martha Kent ○ Moves to Metropolis as adult ○ Pursues Lois Lane as Clark Kent - Clark Kent is NOT Superman's true identity - Superman is immune to immigrant anxiety of dislocation due to super speed "The Myth of Superman" - Eco - Serial continuity : no clear, consumable progression of time from one episode to next over long  duration - Superman can fight Lex Luther without violating serial continuity, but he can't marry Lois Lane or  end all crime globally - Places serial continuity might be violated ○ Films  ○ Graphic novels  ○ Specialty comics - Superman is an inconsumable archetype in everyday time  Humanities Page 1 Exam 2 Study Guide Wednesday, March 1, 2017 11:50 AM QUIZ KEY POINTS "Fans, Fidelity, and the Grammar of Value" - Burke - Current fans focus on watching films > reading comics - Fanzines : amateur publications with discussion, fan art, & news stories - Fandom was encouraged by ○ Rise of specialty stores ○ Opportunity to meet with writers and artists ○ Ability to collect back issues - Fidelity arises from ○ Readers as collectors ○ Amplification ○ Reprinting past stories - Architextuality : generic taxonomies suggested or refused by titles and subtitles - In O'Neil's "Bat Bible" Batman will not kill "The Caped Crusader" - Weldon - The Dark Knight was released in 2008 - Nolan saw the true protagonist of The Dark Knight as Harvey Dent - The Joker has no singular, set origin story - Media campaign surrounding the Dark Knight included ○ Campaign website for Harvey Dent ○ "Jokerized" dollar bills ○ Scavenger Hunts - Batman has several-year plan to clean Gotham crime before retiring - Heath Ledger's performance of the Joker focuses on internal motivations  Humanities Page 1

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