CMS.S60 Watching the Watchmen: Superheroes in Comics and Television

Friday, January 20, 2023 at 1:30pm to 3:00pm

A detective superhero who will stop at nothing to reveal the monstrous truth. A messianic visionary convinced he alone can right a wicked world, and a blue god-man in search of a thermodynamic miracle. Decades removed, a motley collection of police officers seize masks and capes to find strange, alienating answers to their deepest despair. Dive into Watchmen, the greatest superhero story ever told. This one-week IAP offering immerses us in the original 12-issue comic book series, while studying alongside its acclaimed sequel, created thirty-three years later for television. How does the original comic book proffer a culminating text for superhero narratives, shining an unflinching spotlight on the genre’s protean preoccupations in wedding the symbols of mythology, modernity, and technology, to fragile, fallible human bodies? How does the television sequel elaborate upon and complicate the original text’s examination of American exceptionalism, racial persecution, and urban malaise? At the end of the week, students will examine in a short essay how two different media—on-the-margins comics and consensus narrative TV—interrogate the structure of the superhero in distinct ways.
Sajan Saini

CMS.S60: Last screening lab 1/20 at 10. Meets 1/12 to 1/20. Lecture: MTWRF1.30-3 (2-105) Lab: MTWRF EVE (8 PM) (2-105)

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School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS)


Comparative Media Studies/Writing
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