Document Type



Master of Arts


American Studies

First Adviser

Peterson, James B.


This thesis examines different forms of storytelling by using graphic novels, comic books and television series to efficiently do so. The first chapter features a fairly new comic called Ms. Marvel where the superhero is a teenage Muslim instead of the traditional blue-eyed, blonde-haired superhero. The chapter describes Marvel Comics’ direction of changing ethnicity, sex, gender, etc. to better suit the vastly-growing and diverse consumer market. Chapter two concentrates on the tool of flashbacks in a comic called Bitch Planet and in a television show called Orange is the New Black. The use of flashbacks is investigated, further demonstrating its ability to humanize characters. Chapter three focuses on adaptation as a form, tracing its roots from creation to present-day. In the chapter, I discuss the call and current need for changes within adaptations. I also examine an original comic called Preacher, while also comparing it to the newly-finished TV series adaptation by the same name. Throughout the three chapters, portable ethnicity, flashbacks and adaptation are all a common theme and all play a part in the storytelling of these pieces.