by Larrie Dudenhoeffer
This book addresses what a superhero body can do by developing several “x-rays” of the superbody’s sensoria, anatomic structures, internal systems, cellular organizations, and orthotic, chemical, or technological enhancements. In short, these x-rays offer what we might describe as a metamorpho-physiological approach to the superheroes in feature films, theatrical cartoon shorts, and Netflix television series. This approach examines the ways in which the “substance” of superheroes, which includes their masks, costumes, chevrons, weapons, and auras, extends into the diegetic environment of the film, transgressing it, transforming it, and corporealizing it, making it emblematic of the shape, dimensions, contours, and organismic workings of one or more of our major organs, members, orifices, fluids, or cell clusters. Thus the superhero film, as this study claims, works to make us more aware of the mutability, adaptability, modifiability, and virtual capabilities of our own flesh.