Freedom vs. security: that is the dilemma explored in our latest entry in the popular psychology series—and two iconic superheroes come to completely opposite conclusions. This provocative collection of 10 essays, edited by acclaimed pop culture writer Travis Langley and with a foreword by the legendary Stan Lee, examines the complex psychological and political choices made by Captain America and Iron Man in the wake of a civil war. Why do they see things so differently? What are their motivations? Who is right? Captain America vs. Iron Man: Freedom, Security, Psychology analyzes the polar sides of this debate—national security vs. individual freedoms —exploring how trauma shaped these heroic characters, what it takes to become a superhero, and what role gender plays in one's ability to resolve conflicts—along with questions of morality, leadership, and teamwork. Fans will find thought-provoking psychological material to discuss for hours.
Travis Langley is a psychology professor at Henderson State University and the author of Batman and Psychology (Wiley) and the volume editor of The Walking Dead Psychology and Star Wars Psychology (both Sterling). He speaks regularly on media and heroism at pop culture conventions and academic conferences including San Diego Comic Con, New York Comic Con, and WizardCon conventions across the US. Necessary Evil: Super-Villains of DC Comics and other films have featured him as an expert interviewee, and the documentary Legends of the Knight spotlighted how he uses fiction to teach real psychology. He writes for the Psychology Today blog “Beyond Heroes and Villains” and is the #10 most popular psychologist on Twitter with over 87,000 followers: @superherologist. Travis lives in Arkadelphia, AR.