The flash of war : how American patriotism evolved through the lens of The Flash comic books throughout the Cold War era
Comic book superheroes became a uniquely American phenomenon beginning in the wake of World War II. The characters and situations often reflected and alluded to contemporary events. Comic books are a vibrant cultural artifact through which people can get a glimpse into the past. The way in which Americans view their country and their faith in the government changed rather drastically between the end of World War II and the end of the Cold War in 1991, when the Soviet Union was officially dissolved. Throughout the duration of this paper, patriotism, as a ideological product of culture, will be looked at through the lens of The Flash and Flash comic book series from 1956 when The Flash reappeared, after a period of censorship and decline in superheroes' popularity post-WWTT, to the beginning of the 1990s. By looking at The Flash specifically, this thesis contributes to more nuanced research and further understanding of culture and the American view of patriotism during the Cold War era, a time of cultural and ideological upheaval.