06 June 2011

Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human

Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human

Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human


At the time I am writing this there (June 6th, 2011) this book is available for pre-order, the blurb has this quote from Stan Lee: "Grant Morrison is one of the great comics writers of all time. I wish I didn't have to compete with someone as good as him.", and the book itself has been in and out of the graphic novels bestsellers listings on Amazon. Make no mistake, despite Stan Lee's quote, the amazing cover, etc etc this is NOT a graphic novel so if you do catch it during the times when it's at the tops of those charts understand it is a book for us lovers of comics but the only images you'll find here are the occasional covers or panels from existing comics used to demonstrate points being made within the book.

Instead focus on the full title of the book "Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human" to truly understand what this book is. At over 450 pages it's quite the -- well, I'm not even sure what to call this one -- comic book history meets psychological examination of said books and what they are trying to say to us or perhaps what they say about the culture at the time they're out. Mix in the author's own experiences in the industry, how Hollywood has tried (and sometimes failed) to capitalize on the popularity of comics and you'll then probably get a good idea of what this book is. I'm sure I'm missing some aspects here, but that's the point - it's such a large overwhelming experience you'd probably have to read it a few times to really take it all in and I say that as a compliment. It is a hefty read but a re-readable timeless one.

It starts out where most books of its kind would start out - the birth of superheroes (Superman and Batman). By page 60 we're up to the Silver Age. And yes in a mere 60 pages Morrison had covered the birth of the heroes, the attacks on them which led to the comic code. The book takes us up through 2008. Will there be people who say "I can't believe he didn't cover *insert their favorite book or scandal here*"? Perhaps. But as a comic fan myself but not so much so of one that I can tell you every detail of every series every made? I loved loved loved this!

Would non-comic fans love it? Eh, probably not unless they really find pop culture and its impact of society really fascinating. This is really for people who love comics, those who grew up on them, or pop culture junkies. 5/5 stars

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