Among the fantasy fans, movie moguls, cosplayers, and bloggers who descended on San Diego Comic-Con last year, IC student Julia Salvatore ’21 was on hand to share her research on how decades of iconic superhero portrayals in media can alter our perception of the human body’s ability to withstand injury.
Julia and Edd Schneider, associate professor of strategic communication, presented “Heroism and Head Injury: Comic Books and Attitudes Towards Traumatic Brain Injury” as part of a session that offered opportunities for one-on-one discussions with attendees and fellow presenters. Their research, which was received with great interest, explored how popular comic books from different eras presented head injuries within their storylines.
Fueled by her own interest and her minor in psychology, Julia began her research during the spring semester of her freshman year, combing through comic books to record how many times head injuries occurred and the effects they had on the characters. At the convention, Julia used this information to talk about how behaviors and attitudes in comics translate to reality.