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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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Sovereignty at the limit

Sovereignty at the limit

(p.153) 7 Sovereignty at the limit
Sovereignty and Superheroes

Neal Curtis

Manchester University Press

This chapter returns to the problem with which chapter 1 opened namely the nothingness that accompanies the sovereign’s authority. While Schmitt tried to fill this nothingness up with divine beneficence, this chapter maintains the nothingness as a limitless void and considers how sovereignty projects this void outwards, constructing it as an all-consuming threat that the sovereign must test itself against. Using the work of Georges Bataille and Francois Flahault the chapter shows how superhero comics address the dangers of such apocalyptic projections. Looking for an alternative angle on this nothingness that accompanies the sovereign the chapter then turns to the work of Heidegger to think sovereignty in terms of the never ending historical struggle to make sense of the world. This culminates in the argument posited by Cornelius Castoriadis that at the root of our world-building is our sovereign imagination creating worlds from nothing. These issues are discussed via Watchmen and Promethea amongst others.

Keywords:   Limitlessness, Nancy, Flahault, Imagination, Castoriadis, Heidegger, World-building, The Sentry, Watchmen, Promethea

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