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Depression and the Devil of Hell's Kitchen: Exploring How Mental Illness Is Depicted in Daredevil Comic Books

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posted on 2021-05-22, 17:56 authored by Zaeem Siddiqui
This MRP explores how depression is depicted in Marvel’s Daredevil comic books through multimodal metaphors. It seeks to answer the following research questions: 1) How do the visual, textual, and spatial elements in Daredevil comic books work together to communicate depression? 2) What role does depression play within each Daredevil comic book narrative? A close reading was conducted to analyze how depression was communicated in two Daredevil comic books that explicitly discuss depression. This project found that characters discussed their mental illness experience through chaos and quest illness narratives, using a combination of visual and textual metaphors. Their accounts resembled medical representations of depression symptoms. The depiction of mental illness within the two Daredevil comics suggests that mainstream American superhero comics can both depict mental illnesses in a medically accurate manner and present them as authentic character experiences. This MRP provides a meaningful foundation for future research that explores how mainstream American superhero comics can play a larger role in graphic medicine and mental health communication. Keywords: comics, depression, mental illness, graphic medicine, illness narratives, superhero





Master of Professional Communication


Professional Communication

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type