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Touch Me/Don’t Touch Me: Representations of Female Archetypes in Ann Nocenti’s Daredevil

Hagan, Robert J (2019) Touch Me/Don’t Touch Me: Representations of Female Archetypes in Ann Nocenti’s Daredevil. The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship, 9 (1). pp. 9-33.

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Abstract

In the late 1980s, Ann Nocenti became the principle writer on the Marvel comic book, Daredevil, the second woman to be lead creator on the book and the first to write a significant run on an ongoing basis. Nocenti integrated themes relating to social justice, violence and the treatment of children into the narrative. She also shone the spotlight on the supporting female cast members in a way that was original and refreshing. In this article, Nocenti’s challenging of feminine archetypes, such as the housewife, the temptress and the Barbie Doll, reflects ideas of mutable identities, promoted by second-wave feminism. Examining her writing of Karen Page, Typhoid Mary, Brandy Ash and Number Nine, this article argues that, despite the comic centring around a male superhero and with a predominantly male readership, Nocenti succeeds in introducing a more nuanced picture of women and pre-empting some of the changes in the promotion of female characters now apparent in the industry.

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