Bulletin for the Study of Religion, Vol 44, No 1 (2015)

What is a Superhero? How Myth Can be a Metacode

Kenneth G. MacKendrick
Issued Date: 17 Mar 2015


The essay argues that Marvel's Civil War is an interesting narrative concerning the superhero metacode at work. After a brief overview of the crossover event, its allegorical qualities will be discussed followed by a supplemental reading focusing on how superheroes, as agents of pretend play, come to be socialized, coded, and distributed across shared social networks.

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DOI: 10.1558/bsor.v44i1.26860


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Collected Marvel Civil War Editions

Aguirre-Sacasa, Roberto, writer. 2007. Civil War: Peter Parker, Spider-Man. Angel Medina and Sean Chen, illustrators. New York: Marvel.

Bendis, Brian Michael, writer. 2007. Civil War: The New Avengers. Howard Chaykin, Leinil Yu, Olivier Coipel, Pasqual Ferry, and Jim Cheung, illustrators. New York: Marvel.

Bendis, Brian Michae,l and J. Michael Straczynski, writers. 2013. The Road to Civil War. Alex Maleev, Mike McKone, Ron Garney, and Tyler Kirkham, illustrators. New York: Marvel.

Brubaker, Ed, writer. 2013. The Death of Captain America: Complete Collection. Mike Perkins, Lee Weeks, Stefano Gaudiano, Steve Epting, Butch Guice, and Roberto De La Torre, illustrators. New York: Marvel.

David, Peter and Fabian Nicieza, writers. 2010. Civil War: X-Men Universe. Dennis Calero and Staz Johnson, illustrators. New York: Marvel.

Fraction, Matt, writer. 2007. Civil War: Punisher War Journal. Ariel Olivetti and Mike Deodato, illustrators. New York: Marvel.

Gage, Christos, Daniel & Charles Knauf, and Brian Michael Bendis, writers. 2013. Civil War: Iron Man. Jeremy Haun, Patrich Zircher, and Alex Maleev, illustrators. New York: Marvel.

Gray, Justin and Jimmy Palmiotti, writers. 2009. Civil War: Heroes for Hire. Billy Tucci and Francis Portela, illustrators. New York: Marvel.

Guggenheim, Marc, writer. 2013. Civil War: Wolverine. Humberto Ramos, illustrator. New York: Marvel.

Hine, David, writer. 2007. Civil War: X-Men. Yanick Paquette, illustrator. New York: Marvel.

Huldin, Reginald, writer. 2007. Civil War: Black Panther. Scot Eaton, Manuel Garcia , Koi Turnbull, and Marcus To, illustrators. New York: Marvel.

Jenkins, Paul, writer. 2007a. Civil War: Front Line Book 1. Ramon Bachs, Steve Lieber, and Leandro Fernandez, illustrators. New York: Marvel.

Jenkins, Paul, writer. 2007b. Civil War: Front Line Book 2. Ramon Bachs, Steve Lieber, and Lee Weeks, illustrators. New York: Marvel.

Millar, Mark, writer. 2012. Civil War. Steve McNiven, illustrator. New York: Marvel.

Nicieza, Fabian, writer. 2010. Civil War: Thunderbolts. Tom Grummett, illustrator. New York: Marvel.

Reed, Brian, writer. 2007. Civil War: Ms. Marvel. Roberto de la Torre, Mike Wieringo, and Giuseppe Camuncoli, illustrators. New York: Marvel.

Slott, Dan, Paul Jenkins, Brian Michael Bendis and Warren Ellis, Marc Guggenheim, Robert Kirkman, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, Michael Avon Oeming, and Ty Templeton, writers. 2007. Civil War: Marvel Universe. Paul Smith, Tom Raney, Marc Silvestri, Leinil Yu, Phil Hester, Ande Parks, David Aja, Scott Kolins, Roger Langridge, illustrators. New York: Marvel.

Straczynski, J. Michael, writer. 2007. Civil War: The Amazing Spider-Man. Ron Garney, illustrator. New York: Marvel.

Straczynski, J. Michael and Dwayne McDuffie, writers. 2011. Civil War: Fantastic Four. Mike McKone, illustrator. New York: Marvel.

Thomas, John Rhett, writer/coordinator. 2007. Civil War: Companion. New York: Marvel.

Tieri, Frank, writer. 2007. Civil War: War Crimes. Staz Johnson, illustrator. New York: Marvel.

Wells, Zeb, writer. 2011. Civil War: Young Avengers and Runaways. Stefano Caselli, illustrator. New York: Marvel.


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