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Comics and the Cold War
April 26, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
From their earliest days, American comics either reflected the consensus about the country’s national interest or did their part in bringing that consensus about (as in the case of America’s involvement in World War II). After the war, the fight against communism created new enemies for comics’ heroes to fight (super and otherwise). Though National Comics/DC had a reputation for conformity throughout most of the 20th century, it was Marvel Comics (and its previous incarnation, Timely) that made anti-communism the cornerstone of its entire superhero universe. By the 1970s, younger creators were challenging the Cold War consensus in a company that had gained a reputation for being liberal and “hip.” How did the company reckon with its Cold War past, and what was the Cold War’s legacy in the more mature works of the last three decades of the twentieth century?
Join Eliot Borenstein, a professor of Russian and Slavic Studies at New York University, for a virtual presentation on how American comics depicted the Cold War.