Batman… Also Starring: Essays on the Caped Crusader’s Supporting Cast
The editor of Batman… Also Starring is seeking abstracts for essays that could be included in the upcoming collection. Many academic texts focus on Batman as a cultural figure in comics as well as in films, television programs, and video games. However, like all great superheroes, Batman is as much defined by his supporting cast as he is by his costume, abilities or origin. While there is no shortage of scholarship devoted to his most famous sidekicks — such as Nightwing, Batgirl or the many Robins — and his most popular villains — like Joker, Catwoman, and Harley Quinn — little critical attention has been paid to the majority of his cast. This collection is intended to close those gaps by investigating the cultural, sociological, philosophical, psychological, narratological, pedagogical, theological, or other areas of academic interest connected to the lesser-known members of Batman’s cast.
The proposed volume is intended to be scholarly and academic in rigor but accessible to a general audience in tone. Essays may focus on superheroes, supervillains, or non costumed supporting characters, as long as they are strongly related to Batman. Essays may cover any era of Batman’s history and any media that he has appeared in, including comics, film, television, and video games. However, each essay should focus on a character not traditionally seen as a lead or co-lead. That is to say, the editor is more interested in essays about Gotham Girl, Kiteman, and Aunt Harriet than Superman, Wonder Woman, or Riddler. Characters may be obscure, but should be notable to the overall Batman mythos.
Potential chapter topics might include but are not limited to:
- Thomas and Martha Wayne and the repetition of trauma across multiple adaptations
- Alfred Pennyworth and domestic masculinity
- Gotham Girl, Trauma and Mental Health
- Lucius Fox and the invisibility of successful blackness
- Silver St. Cloud and reimagining noir femme fatale sexuality in superhero fantasy
- Social satire through the lens of Bat-Mite
- Killer Croc and the Monstrosity of the Other
- Rachel Dawes: predestined for the fridge?
- Jim Gordon, Harvey Bullock and homosocial bonding in the workplace
- Making the most of the limited continuity of Carrie Kelly
- Queer erasure and the original Kathy Kane as a beard for Batman
- Talia al Ghul and the Electra complex
- Vicki Vale, Vesper Fairchild, Julie Madison and the failure to become Lois Lane
- Ace, the Bathound and the emotional companionship of super pets
Those interested are asked to send an abstract (200-500 words) as well as a short bio to the editor, Christopher Maverick, at: AlsoStarringSuperheroes@gmail.com. The deadline for proposals is December 1, 2023. All proposals will be adjudicated by December 15, 2023, with first drafts of accepted chapters due May 1, 2024. Completed essays should be 6000-8000 words in MLA format.