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WJEC GCSE Superhero Glossary of Terms

Rob Miller | Thursday April 16, 2015

Categories: GCSE, WJEC GCSE, Genres & Case Studies, Superhero, Hot Entries, Key Concepts, Film Language

Superman (1978): First recognised, and globally successful superhero film of the modern era.

Marvel: American publisher of comic books, frequently pertaining to the superhero genre founded in 1939 e.g. Hulk, Thor, Fantastic Four, Spider-man, Iron Man and Wolverine. Disney acquired (bought and owned) Marvel in 2009.

Stan Lee: At age 92, Stan Lee is president and chairman of Marvel Comics and co-creator and writer of Spider-man, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man and X-Men among others.

Marvel Cinematic Universe: An American franchise centered on the production of superhero films (see examples of titles above).

DC Comics: American comic book publisher (superhero) and rival of Marvel. Founded in 1934 characters include Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Aquaman and Cat Woman. DC are owned by Warner Bros.

Event Movie: The latest Superhero films like Ant Man that is hugely anticipated, with often the release date used in the marketing.

Franchise: An idea that can be sold on or exploited – common to the superhero genre of which there are many franchises.

Saturated Distribution: Superhero films have lots of money spent on advertising.

Mainstream Blockbuster: Many Superhero films go out to a mass audience.

Commercial Success: Makes money.

Non-Marvel/DC Superheroes: Yes, they exist e.g. Robocop, The Incredibles and Hancock (there are plenty of others).

Propp: Propp’s 8 character roles often map onto the superhero genre.

Lair: Many superheroes, like Batman have an operating centre.

Self-sacrifice: Often, the superhero has no care for his/her own wellbeing within classic ‘rescue’ or ‘save the world’ narratives.

Anti-hero: Some superheroes, like Wolverine are not as squeaky clean as Spider-man and Superman and have negative aspects to their character but ultimately, they battle for good.

Synergy: When one media form e.g. a film, helps to sell another - a Marvel film will sell Marvel literature.

Non-media...


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