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My new book Superheroes, Movies and the State: How the US Government Shapes Cinematic Universes is now available.  Co-authored with Tricia Jenkins, we take a deep drive into the government and quasi-government agencies that have influenced the production and promotion of superhero movies.  This is a truly unique book full of information you won’t find anywhere else, addressing some of the major themes of our time in a highly readable way.

Further details and ordering is available via the following links:

Some of the early praise for Superheroes, Movies and the State:

  • Hollywood teems with the US national security state! Like one of the crowd-pleasing multisuperhero crossover movies discussed herein, this book unites two compelling subjects in one remarkable narrative. Jenkins and Secker show how the US military, NASA, and the CIA have successfully shaped the superhero genre even as that genre became a key mechanism by which Americans imagine and reimagine their relationship with the world. Lively, perceptive, and based on painstaking research, including specially declassified documents, this is a vital contribution to the understanding of post-9/11 culture in the United States.–Nicholas J. Cull, professor of communication, University of Southern California, and coauthor of Projecting Tomorrow: Science Fiction and Popular Cinema
  • This is the best book on the US federal government’s hand in Hollywood’s production of Marvel and DC superhero movies. Jenkins and Secker shed light on a sometimes collaborative and sometimes conflicted relationship between the state’s public affairs offices and the Hollywood studios behind the world’s most globally popular entertainment genre. This is a one-of-a-kind contribution to scholarly and public knowledge about the US state-Hollywood relationship and the geopolitics of creating, telling, selling, and watching superhero movies.–Tanner Mirrlees, president, Canadian Communication Association
  • Tricia Jenkins and Tom Secker have brought several strands together in this book, and the result is a cogent discussion of the twenty-first-century relationship between superheroes, technology, surveillance, and state-sanctioned violence. Although previous work has taken up this topic in the years since 9/11, Superheroes, Movies, and the State makes a substantial intervention by couching contemporary readings in a longer history of cooperation between Hollywood and Washington that goes beyond the familiar stories of cinematic propaganda and the Office of War Information. The result is a carefully researched, readable, and useful cultural history that occasions important new considerations of the ubiquitous and evolving superhero story.–Robert Moses Peaslee, associate professor, Journalism & Creative Media Industries, Texas Tech University, and coeditor of The Supervillain Reader
  • A well-researched and sophisticated investigation of how a variety of government agencies, from NASA and the CDC to the CIA and DOD, promote themselves and their agendas through superhero films. As Jenkins and Secker show, the battles between these agencies for control of the government narrative is, itself, epic!–Stacy Takacs, author of Terrorism TV: Popular Entertainment in Post-9/11 America
  • I did not believe it possible to uncover sufficient evidence of government script manipulation to create a book specifically on superheroes. I was wrong–and Secker and Jenkins demonstrate it in glorious detail. The collaboration between the US national security state and comic book fiction is an injustice against the film-watching public, especially young people, and the details of how tight a grip the United States wields over these products was stunning even to me.–Matthew Alford, author of Reel Power: Hollywood Cinema and American Supremacy and producer of the documentary The Writer with No Hands