Capitán Latinoamérica: Superheroes in Cinema, Television, and Web Series (Paperback)
Capit n Latinoam rica is the first study to examine the unique contribution of Latin American cinema, television, and web series to the global superhero boom. Through an analysis of superhero-themed media from Mexico to Argentina, Vinodh Venkatesh argues that contemporary Latin American superheroes are a hybrid of regional tropes and figures such as the famed luchador, El Chapul n Colorado, and North American blockbuster characters from the DC and Marvel universes. These superheroes channel anxieties specific to their respective national contexts. In Chile, for example, Mirageman rehashes and works through the Pinochet dictatorship and its traumatic aftermath; in Honduras, Chinche Man confronts neoliberalism and gang violence. In Colombia's El Man, in turn, rapid urbanization and drug cartels are the central concerns, whereas corruption and the political machinations of the state feature most prominently in the television and web series Capit n Centroam rica. While the Latin American superhero genre may be superficially characterized by low budgets and kitsch aesthetics, it also poses profound challenges to the social, political, and economic status quo. Covering a wide variety of media bookended by wrestling films from the early 1960s and multimedia productions from the 2010s, Capit n Latinoam rica offers a comprehensive introduction to, and assessment of, the state of the superhero in Latin America.