Martyrs and Monsters of the Avengers: Christianity and Disability in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

This paper examines the visual vocabulary of Marvel’s Avengers movies through a study of characters with acquired impairments. When an impairment exhibits the characters’ commitment to justice, they are martyr-heroes; when their origins “deform” their bodies, they are monsters in need of redemption....

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Journal of disability & religion
Main Author: Martin, Helena L.
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: Taylor & Francis [2020]
In: Journal of disability & religion
Further subjects:B Disability
B Church History
B physical
B Moral Theology
B Disability studies
Online Access: Volltext (Resolving-System)
Description
Summary:This paper examines the visual vocabulary of Marvel’s Avengers movies through a study of characters with acquired impairments. When an impairment exhibits the characters’ commitment to justice, they are martyr-heroes; when their origins “deform” their bodies, they are monsters in need of redemption. Putting these stereotypes in conversation with Christianity offers a heuristic to interrogate the meanings conveyed by these characters’ bodies. Using a theological and disability-informed perspective, I argue that Marvel’s uncritical adoption of tropes about physical impairment perpetuates a tradition of ableism that is undergirded by the Christian theological imagination.
ISSN:2331-253X
Contains:Enthalten in: Journal of disability & religion
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1080/23312521.2020.1799906