SUPERSEX

Updated: Jun 24, 2021


Editor: Anna F. Peppard

Publisher: University of Texas Press

Publication Year: 2020

Pages: 374

Topic: Gender studies, Human sexuality


WHAT IS IT?

Supersex: Sexuality, Fantasy, and the Superhero is an anthology containing thirteen essays exploring ideas about sex and sexuality in American superhero stories across multiple media. Peppard and her authors examine classic heroine Miss Fury, weigh in on Superman, Batman and the X-Men in comics and on-screen, and even take a look at underground comix, superhero porn and fan fiction. It’s all very proper and academic, albeit in a manner that Peppard has aptly referred to as “salaciously scholarly.”


WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Supersex covers a lot of ground. But it has rules. All the essays in the book are about costumed heroes, and all involve an exploration of some aspect of sexuality tied to the character or their world. This ends up being a relatively vast canvas, and the essays take advantage of this, giving us perspectives from across several disciplines. It is therefore difficult to give a succinct summation of what the book has to offer, but Peppard wants us to “look at individual texts and the superhero genre as a whole with different – and perhaps more lascivious – eyes.”


There is a lot of interesting stuff to talk about here. I can’t possibly go in-depth on all thirteen chapters, so here are thirteen bullets, enough for one hopelessly reductive sentence per essay. They are all worthy of more space and more superlatives, so if you want more detail, the link to buy the book is at the bottom of the review!