Wiccan, Hulking and Batwoman: Gendered Representation in American Superhero Comics


Esther De Dauw (University of Leicester)

In the early 2000s, the American cultural landscape was dominated by both a turn towards conservatism following 9/11 and increased legislative protections for members of the LGBTQ communities. This talk’s analysis of Billy Kaplan (known as Wiccan), Teddy Altman (known as Hulking) and Kate Kane (known as Batwoman) examines the development of the legislation enacted in the early 2000s, the rise of conservative cultural forces and in what way these three heroes inadvertently re-inscribe conservative gender roles through their performance of gender and sexuality. It touches on Lisa Duggan’s concept of homonormativity, domestinormativity as used by Katharine M. Franke and gender performativity as set out by Judith Butler. 

All welcome.