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“Heroes and Their Consequences”: 9/11, the War on Terror, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe

  • Inga Meier
Chapter

Abstract

Characters and stories in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) regularly cross over from one medium and/or genre to another; narrative arcs occur sequentially, out of sequence, or concurrently and conventional binaries (e.g., protagonist/antagonist, good/evil, us/them) are deconstructed and subverted. This is not merely designed to cinematically adapt the complexity of the comic book universe but also simultaneously structure what trauma theorist Dominick LaCapra has termed a “working through”—in this instance, of the events of 9/11 (as first depicted as “The Battle of New York” in The Avengers) and the subsequent “war on terror.” This chapter explores how the trope of the superhero is re-imagined to address the complexities of twenty-first-century warfare and to interrogate issues of patriotism, drone strikes, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), grief, memorialization, politicization, mass surveillance, and civil liberties.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stephen F. Austin State UniversityNacogdochesUSA

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