Capstones

Graduation Date

Fall 12-15-2017

First Advisor

Margot Mifflin

Subject Concentration

Arts & Culture

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Abstract

This critical essay examines the use of tropes and themes in modern comic books and how they are used to protest President Donald Trump’s policies, actions and supporters. It begins with a detailed history of tropes used in comic books and how some of the first superhero comic book writers created these tropes in order to protest the social injustices of their times. It shifts to the first trope, the “compromised hero” where a hero is turned evil. It is used in “Secret Empire,” a book where Captain America turns evil and takes over the presidency. His rise to power mirrors Trump’s. Then, in the pages of “Aquaman,” the titular hero has a “loss of power.” His abdication from the throne of the mythical land of Atlantis and the new ruler’s rise to power is also symbolic of Trump’s polices and the election of 2016. Finally, new themes based on American women’s reactions to Donald Trump’s policies and comments sprang up during and after the 2016 election in the pages of “Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur” and “The Unstoppable Wasp.”

The full capstone can be found at this address: http://www.aaronjberkowitz.com/pageone/index.html

GIF_Berkowitz_Aaron_1.gif (2320 kB)
GIF outlining the origin of the DC Comics character Superman.

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GIF outlining the origin of the Marvel Comics character Captain America

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GIF outlining the origin of the Marvel Comics character The Falcon

GIF_Berkowitz_Aaron_4.gif (2466 kB)
GIF outlining the origin of the DC Comics character Aquaman

GIF_Berkowitz_Aaron_5.gif (2851 kB)
GIF outlining the origin of the DC Comics character Wonder Woman

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GIF outlining the origin of the Marvel Comics character Nadia Pym.

GIF_Berkowitz_Aaron_7.gif (1644 kB)
GIF outlining the origin of the Marvel Comics character Moon Girl

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