603-102-MQ, The Dark Age of Comics: The Superhero or Masked Vigilante
This course will look at the Dark, or Modern, Age of comic books, the period in which the Super-Hero genre experienced a revolutionary turn in the mid 1980s: the characters, settings, and themes in comics became darker and more complex, appealing to comics’ adult readership, as the genre was deconstructed and reinvented by the likes of Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, and Frank Miller. We will read Dark Age comics, including Watchmen and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, and we will explore some of the conventions and reinventions of the superhero genre; we will look at the typical traits of the superhero (loss of parents, powers, dual identity), the villain as protagonist, the “New York City” setting, the sidekick, as well as the break with continuity (the serialized narrative) and the introduction of the new graphic novel format.