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Super Black: American Pop Culture and Black Superheroes Paperback – October 1, 2011


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Super Black: American Pop Culture and Black Superheroes + Black Images in the Comics + Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press (October 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0292726740
  • ISBN-13: 978-0292726741
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #532,269 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Adilifu Nama's Super Black: American Pop Culture and Black Superheroes does a great job of introducing many of today's comic book fans with the history of African Americans in comic books and pop culture generally - something our current comic book-to-movie craze has failed to do. Nama doesn't just focus on African-American superheroes, he focuses on race relations in comic books generally and between comic book characters specifically. Additionally, his analysis of race as a plot device used to address larger political issues - like drugs, crime and the prison industrial complex - within a contextual framework makes clear the point that comic books aren't just for kids [...]Super Black is a short, yet illuminating analysis of Black Superheroes and race relations, primarily in the 2-D world. Obviously, at only 180 pages, it couldn't cover all aspect of American culture and Black superheroes. However, as a short book, it does one hell of a good job."- Tony Pecinovsky, People's World

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Customer Reviews

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I would recommend this product to any comic guru/fan.
Unicorn515
Dr. Nama presents a clear and compelling analysis of the role of race in super hero comic books.
Christopher Newman
The author did extentsive research and presented his findings in a clear and concise manner.
William Foster

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By William Foster on February 20, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I throughly enjoyed this book which gave a terrific history of the Image of African Americans in Comics. The author did extentsive research and presented his findings in a clear and concise manner.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By setlib on March 26, 2013
Format: Paperback
Adilifu Nama's book is a needed contribution to the important topic of diversity in pop culture. Any discussion of superheroes is going to start with comic books, so appropriately, there is a detailed description of major black comic superheroes: DC's Green Arrow, John Stewart/Green Lantern and Black Lightning; Marvel's Black Panther (T'Challa) from his debut in Fantastic Four to versions by Jack Kirby, Christopher Priest and Reginald Hudlin, as well as an analysis of the revampings of Luke Cage; "sidekick" characters such as Falcon in Captain America and Jim Rhodes in Ironman, plus the lesser-known Cloak and Dagger. The book also examines other black characters including Black Goliath, John Henry Irons, Steel, Icon, Nubia (Wonder Woman's black twin sister), X-Men's Storm, Frank Miller's Martha Washington, and Brother Voodoo, as well as titles like Truth: Red, White & Black and The Crew.

Superheroes also crop up in film and television, so the book moves on to discuss blaxploitation films and various representations of Muhammad Ali and President Obama. Depictions of several black superheroes are described, including Eartha Kitt's Catwoman, Avery Brooks's Hawk, and M.A.N.T.I.S. There are long critical analyses of films like Spawn and Blade, and brief mentions of parodies The Meteor Man and Blankman, as well as Unbreakable, Spiderman 3, Hancock and Transformers.

Well-researched, balanced, and convincingly argued, this book features copious notes, references, and lots of illustrations featuring the comic book panels under discussion - mainly black and white but several in color (especially of covers) as well. The book is arranged by theme rather than by publisher or date, which makes it engaging to read but a little harder for research, thankfully there is a thorough index.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joel B. Kirk on May 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
Whether you are a comic book fan, academic (specifically African American Studies or American Studies), this book is for you. I personally found this book an enjoyable read, with perfect pacing.

The author, Adilfu Nama, did extensive research chronicling black superheroes of all types (which include our President Barack Obama, who has a few comic titles and appearances under his belt).

A superhero that author forgot was the short-lived Orpheus who was introduced into the "Batman Family" in his own five-issue series, then later killed off in the "War Games" series. Of course, being that there are various black superheroes that have shown up throughout the years...this oversight can definitely be forgiven.

This book can be a good companion piece to "Black Superheroes, Milestone Comics, and Their Fans" by Jeffrey A. Brown.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By poetRMS-316 on March 28, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book because I wanted to learn about African-Americans in science fiction. I was amazed by the history, the education and the artistry of Black science fiction. I learned about the negativity, as well as the positivity of Black sci-fi characters in comic books, television, movies and documentaries. It is important for African-Americans to become more involved with sci-fi because there are plenty more stories about Black History to be told through sci-fi and other genres of literature.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Newman on August 7, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What an amazing read! Dr. Nama presents a clear and compelling analysis of the role of race in super hero comic books. Super Black gives language to the experiences of African Americans seeking authentic representations in American Pop culture.
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