Who wears the cape in this relationship? : an analysis of gender in superhero films

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Foster, Tori
Messineo, Melinda
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Thesis (B.?)
Honors College
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Although Marvel and DC have been making comics since the 1930s, the recent boom in superhero films' popularity has left Marvel and DC's logos and superheroes plastered on billboards, t-shirts, children's toys, collectibles, and in many more places. These heroes are pervasive in our culture - Superman's triangular logo would be recognized by almost anyone. However, these icons are studied relatively little, and their effect on our culture can be massive. The analysis of fourteen superhero films from Marvel and DC over the past twelve years shows that superhero films portray both hypermasculine and hypersexualized characters, and that there's a gendered difference in the ways superheroes and superheroines are portrayed, as well as a significant difference between the portrayals of superheroines and female non-superhero characters. I analyze these fourteen films and their portrayals of gender, looking at BSRI traits, characters' roles in their films' plots, the characters' superpowers, and instances of sexualization of the characters.