This week on the Major Spoilers Podcast – Dr. Peter Coogan returns and drops some theories on the pre-history of the costumed superhero, while Matthew, Rodrigo and Stephen talk up the first two episodes of Netflix Daredevil series.

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“Marvel’s Daredevil” is a live action series that follows the journey of attorney Matt Murdock, who in a tragic accident was blinded as a boy but imbued with extraordinary senses. Murdock sets up practice in his old neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen, New York where he now fights against injustice as a respected lawyer by day and masked vigilante at night.


Dr. Peter Coogan discusses Chris Gavaler’s paper on the birth of the superhero.

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About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. YES! im way behind om my MSPs but I love when dr Coogan is on at this will make me push throu the episodes im behind.

    Thank yoy for all the great work you guys do.

  2. Malone_hasco on

    Very interesting discussion. I can see how material which is referenced can be shocking to some people although I didnt find it like that at all, because it was presented in educational manner. That said, Im not from North America and dont have same kind of emotional attachment to things like racism, KKK or Birth of a Nation. Im not totally naive regarding there matters either, just saying that Europes history is not so rosy either.

  3. A fascinating discussion with Dr. Coogan. It’s terrifying how easily the collection of well-trod superhero ideals and motivations can be turned on its head and applied to movements as horrific as the ones discussed – but it certainly emphasises the need to not just accept those motivations blindly, but to think about them a bit more deeply in their particular context.

    On a far lighter note – I was thrilled to hear Matthew echo something that was in my mind after watching the first few episodes of Daredevil, but that I’ve seen no mention of in any other forum threads. I speak of the DERP FACTOR. Everyone seems to be offering up glowing reviews of Elden Henson’s portrayal of Foggy Nelson, but I personally find him constantly pulling me out of the moment. His character as portrayed comes off as very young, with many lines delivered in a tone more akin to a teenage tag-along buddy than a practising lawyer.

    The writers don’t seem to be doing him any favours, either – a number of his lines sound to have been written for someone with a bit more maturity and experience, and when he delivers them it just sounds as though he is quite literally reading lines.

    I’m enjoying the show as a whole very much, and between the action, the actors are generally able to successfully navigate occasional bits of exposition-heavy dialogue, but it just feels to me as though Foggy falls short.

    Personal opinion only! He may get SUPER GOOD in episode 4 onward! Rant over!

    Love your work, guys. :)


    great show! both discussions were engaging for their own reasons – especially enjoyed Dr. Coogan’s insight and scholarship – I plan on making a trip to the Institute for Comics Studies this summer. Keep this kind of intellectual content coming and I will be a more frequent listener. But I do enjoy all the pop culture content you guys provide. Will be donating next pay day!

  5. I’d really like to get into contact with Dr. Coogan if possible. His discussion about the ontological vocation of humanization really resonated with my personal philosophy. However in light of the recent riots in Baltimore, I’m conflicted as to how I feel about them. As I am generally a pacifist, yet also feed up with the state of institutionalized racism, I would really like to know how the ontological vocation of humanization fits into this complex situation. Historically violence has been needed to enact change, however whether that applies here I am really not so sure.

    I don’t really expect a response, but if by some chance he felt inclined to send me his thoughts, an e-mail would be amazing!

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