You Win Some, You Lose Some?: “Increased” Diversity In DC Comics’ “New 52”



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An Honors Project Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for Honors in The Department of Sociology


This study investigates the assertion of increased diversity in DC Comics’ “New 52” relaunch by examining visibility of women and people of color in titles published before and after the relaunch. Thirty titles were sampled, fifteen from the month before the relaunch was established and fifteen published specifically as “New 52” titles. The portrayals of these characters were also inspected. Further, animated superhero-themed television shows with the same name as sampled comic book titles were studied qualitatively, looking at connections between the shows and the comic books, as well as amongst the programs themselves. Ultimately, amongst the sampled titles, the “New 52” comics displayed greater visibility of people of color, but less visibility of women. Their animated counterparts also had a stronger relationship to the “New 52” comics than the pre-relaunch titles, likely due to the inclusion of so-called “Legacy Characters” in the latter. As the issues sampled from the “New 52” only included the first issue from each series, visibility will likely change as the continuity progresses.

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Digital Initiatives Press: Rhode Island College




gay and lesbian, DC Comics, New 52, race, homosexuality, criticism, gender studies, womens studies


African American Studies | Gender and Sexuality | Sociology of Culture | Visual Studies


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You Win Some, You Lose Some?: “Increased” Diversity In DC Comics’ “New 52”