McFarland Publishers will publish a collection of essays on the Netflix
television series The Defenders.
I, Tim Rayborn, and my colleague Abigail Keyes will take on the role of
editors. We have previously co-edited a McFarland anthology on the
Netflix series, Jessica Jones (now published), so this project is a
logical sequel. I have written three books for McFarland and three for
Skyhorse Publishing. Abigail writes articles on various topics and has
co-written two other books with me. We are both long-time comics fans,
and are eager to explore this series.
The show is the culmination of four separate Netflix series about
Marvel’s “street level” heroes: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and
Iron Fist. It had a lot of ground to cover, as several characters’
individual plot lines were left unresolved in their respective series
and it was assumed that they would be resolved (or at least furthered)
in the Defenders’ team-up. However, at only eight episodes, it was hard
to include everything, and some felt that the show deserved more time
and additional episodes.
One of the show’s main themes is power and how it is used and abused,
both secretly and out in the open. Corruption has been a major theme in
the Netflix Marvel shows, with the various heroes having to stand
against malevolent people and institutions who actively seek to harm the
greater populace. This is most obvious in the main villain of the
Defenders, the Hand. The Defenders has a stronger emphasis on the
supernatural and fantastic than some of its predecessors, which makes
for an interesting contrast with the gritty, realistic portrayals of
urban life in New York that pervade so much of the previous shows.
Given the many plot strands that weave together, there is a wealth of
material from this show that can be unpacked and thoroughly examined. In
assembling a collection of essays, we would like to see a considerable
variety of topics. Some suggestions:
• The use of power for both good and evil; questions of good and evil
and the moral grey areas of both heroes and villains throughout
• Elements of the supernatural and paranormal (the Hand, the dragons,
the heroes’ and villains’ powers) in a series based on a more gritty and
realistic portrayal of superhero story-telling
• Subverted gender roles and the portrayal of women (Jessica, Misty,
Coleen, Alexandra, Gao, Elektra, Trish)
• The influence of the comics on the shows’ characters and how that
plays into this team-up and these themes
• Tracing individual characters’ story lines and journeys related to
one or more of these topics from that character’s own show into The
Other topics are most welcome.
Essays must be in English, fully cited with end notes, and bibliography,
all in accordance with the current Chicago Manual of Style (the style
manual for this collection). The length of each contribution should be
between about 6,000 and 10,000 words, unless there is a good reason that
a given essay should be shorter or longer. Please use clear, concise
writing, not overly academic jargon or dense prose.
Potential contributors should submit a one- to two-page proposal
including a potential title, a short description of the topic(s) for
your essay, a brief summary of your background and qualifications, and
contact information. We would like proposals submitted by July 15, 2018,
and will be deciding on an essay submission date after that.
Please email your proposals to me at: [log in to unmask]
Thank you for your time and interest, and we look forward to receiving
and reading your proposals.
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