The Superhero Genre in Film

  • CarrieLynn D. ReinhardEmail author
  • Christopher J. Olson
Living reference work entry
Part of the Springer Reference Sozialwissenschaften book series (SRS)


Historically, the superhero first emerged in American popular culture with the debut of Superman in Action Comics #1 in 1939. This iconic character later helped establish the superhero film genre with the release of Superman in 1977. This chapter considers the construction of the superhero film genre by defining how the parameters of the superhero and the superhero genre developed in comic books. The chapter argues that the cinema has provided for the perpetuation of the superhero genre through its ability to adapt these parameters, including the superhero’s stance as a champion for social justice. Furthermore, the superhero film genre appears to succeed across time and around the world largely because the films reflect on different sociocultural concerns/conflicts to which the superhero models desirable resolutions.


Superheroes Iconography Morality Genre Analysis Film Genre 


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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • CarrieLynn D. Reinhard
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christopher J. Olson
    • 2
  1. 1.Dominican UniversityChicagoUSA
  2. 2.University of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA

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