Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor's Name

Ana Luszczynska

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Michael Gillespie

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Nathaniel Cadle

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


Social, Beast, Marvel, Comics, X-Men, Graphic Literature, Racial Constructions, Race, Activism

Date of Defense



Through a post-modern lens, I will primarily focus on comics books published by Marvel Comics to demonstrate the myriad of ways in which graphic literature is used as a subversive tool of sociopolitical discourse. I will demonstrate this by deconstructing and redefining the role of myth as a means of transferring ethical practices through societies and the ways in which graphic literature serves this function within the space of a modern and increasingly atheistic society. The thesis first demonstrates how the American Civil Rights Movement was metaphorically translated and depicted to the pages of Marvel’s X-Men comics to expose its primarily white/ male readership to the plight of discriminated Black Americans through the juxtaposition of depicting white super heroes who represented the segregated experiences of othered or unwanted communities. Secondly, the X-Man Beast is closely analyzed to demonstrate the ways in which the rhetoric and depictions of graphic literature are altered through decades of publication to adapt its messages of social tolerance and peaceful coexistence to its contemporary audiences.





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