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Sovereignty and Superheroes$
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Neal Curtis

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780719085048

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719085048.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 28 May 2022

Friend and enemy

Friend and enemy

(p.82) 4 Friend and enemy
Sovereignty and Superheroes

Neal Curtis

Manchester University Press

This chapter analyses another very important couplet in the theory of sovereignty, namely the distinction that is drawn between the friend and the enemy. Although Schmitt argued this was necessary in a concrete situation, Derrida has argued that it is precisely concrete situations that begin to blur the clarity of the division. The chapter deconstructs the division using Derrida’s concepts of the pharmakon and autoimmunity, the condition where the bodies defences turn against it, while showing how superhero comics themselves regularly problematize any clear distinction. Although they are said to be stories based on good guys versus bad guys, the near unlimited power of the good guys is regularly shown to be as much of a danger as the villainy of the bad guys.

Keywords:   Friend, Enemy, Derrida, Deconstruction, The Avengers, Spider-Man, Venom

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