Chapter 12. Representing the state of exception

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This article explores the relationship between the superhero and the state and the subversive potential within that relationship, both thematically and visually. The superhero must act above the law in order to uphold it, and thus question the legitimacy of authority. The comic book narrative has to convey the illusion of causality, movement and sound through the means of consequent still, silent images. Both examples here show a paradox that must somehow be resolved in order to make sense of them. The article approaches these questions through Giorgio Agamben’s concept of the state of exception, which is used to analyse the problematics presented by the visual narrative and the questions raised by the political status of the superhero.


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