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The Phantom Comics and the New Left: A Socialist Superhero
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education and Adult Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2387-1883
2020 (English)Book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This book is about the Phantom in Sweden, or more correctly: about Sweden in the Phantom. Socialist Superhero uncovers how a peripheral American superhero – created in 1936 by author Lee Falk and artist Ray Moore – that has been accused of both racism and sexism has become a national concern in a country that several researchers have labelled the most antiracial and gender equal in the world. When a group of Swedish creators set up their official production of licensed scripts to The Phantom comic in 1972, the character is redefined through the prism of New Left ideology where the plots, besides aiming to entertain readers, also inform the reader about the righteousness and validity of the dominant ideological doctrine among the Swedish public at the time, which also impacted on the government’s foreign policy.

Through a series of close readings of the comic books, alongside fan writing, cultural criticism, political documents, and interviews with creators and editors of The Phantom comic book, The Phantom Comics and the New Left’s various thematic chapters discuss how topics such as foreign aid and poverty elimination, guerrilla warfare and postcolonialism, socialism and equality are expressed on the pages of the comic book, along with the fight against apartheid, the construction of a cooperative society in the jungle and the Phantom’s self-affirmed role as spokesperson for then Prime Minister Olof Palme. What will be seen is how the common denominator is ideology: the Phantom reflects values, and embodies a dominant political point of view, of how Sweden sees itself and its role in the world.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cham: Palgrave Pivot, 2020. , p. 137
Series
Palgrave Studies in Comics and Graphic Novels
Keywords [en]
ideology; comics; new left; racism; international solidarity
National Category
Cultural Studies Languages and Literature History of Ideas
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-163768DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-39800-2ISBN: 9783030397999 (print)ISBN: 9783030398002 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-163768DiVA, id: diva2:1394642
Available from: 2020-02-19 Created: 2020-02-19 Last updated: 2020-02-20Bibliographically approved

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Aman, Robert

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf