Friend and enemy
in Sovereignty and superheroes
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This chapter analyses another very important couplet in the theory of sovereignty, namely the distinction that is drawn between the friend and the enemy. Although Schmitt argued this was necessary in a concrete situation, Derrida has argued that it is precisely concrete situations that begin to blur the clarity of the division. The chapter deconstructs the division using Derrida’s concepts of the pharmakon and autoimmunity, the condition where the bodies defences turn against it, while showing how superhero comics themselves regularly problematize any clear distinction. Although they are said to be stories based on good guys versus bad guys, the near unlimited power of the good guys is regularly shown to be as much of a danger as the villainy of the bad guys.

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