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When The Phantom Became an Anticolonialist: Socialist Ideology, Swedish Exceptionalism, and the Embodiment of Foreign Policy
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education and Adult Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2387-1883
2018 (English)In: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, ISSN 2150-4857, E-ISSN 2150-4865, p. 1-18Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The Phantom, an American comic about a superhero of British heritage set in a fictional African country, is held in highest esteem elsewhere, regarded as a national institution in Australia, New Zealand and much of Scandinavia. Since the early 1960s, officially licensed scripts have been produced by the Swedish-based scriptwriters of ‘Team Fantomen’ who today remain the major suppliers of adventures to the Phantom comics around the world. This essay suggests that this shift in the scripts’ geographical origin also altered the politics of the comic: in the hands of Team Fantomen, the masked hero is instilled with political doctrines reflected in Swedish foreign policy during the late 1960s and early 1970s. This ideological shift means that the masked hero moves away from the role of colonialist fantasy prevalent in the American scripts to become a supporter of decolonization, social justice, and equality. The Phantom becomes an avatar of democratic socialist ideology, the episodes offering a direct commentary on Sweden’s perception of its own role in the world as a leading proponent of international solidarity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. p. 1-18
Keywords [en]
the phantom; team fantomen; new left; swedish exceptionalism; anticolonialism
National Category
Cultural Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-146259DOI: 10.1080/21504857.2017.1403334OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-146259DiVA, id: diva2:1195394
Available from: 2018-04-05 Created: 2018-04-05 Last updated: 2018-04-26

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf