Shaun Treat's a Visiting Professor of Rhetoric at the University of North Texas -- and, no, I have no idea what that means, not exactly. But just in time for the onslaught of super-hero movies crashing into multiplexii this summer, UNT today has announced that Treat's treating the school's grad-school students to a course sure to be populated by cheerleaders and jocks: Mythic Rhetoric of the American Superhero. Treat, whose dissertation "explored the mythic culture types and fantasy rhetoric of charismatic leadership," will use as his textbook 2002's The Myth of the American Superhero, and says the UNT media release announcing the new course, which debuts in the fall:
Treat said his students will also read various comic books and graphic novels, including Superman: Red Son, an alternative universe DC Comics story that has Superman growing up in the communist Soviet Union and eventually becoming powerful enough to unseat Joseph Stalin. In addition, the students will watch films such as 2005'sV for Vendetta, the X-Men movies and 2002's Road to Perdition, which was based on a Japanese graphic novel.
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The fact I know, without even looking it up, that the latter's not true -- Road to Perdition, written by Max Allen Collins, was published in 1998 by DC Comics-owned Paradox Press -- means I am not going to take the course pass-fail. --Robert Wilonsky