Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us about Being Human by Grant Morrison
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Grant Morrison is a writer whose imagination is a joy to behold at work. Whether he's hitting or missing, he lives and breathes in the 2D world of the page - sometimes literally, as his avatar "King Mob" in The Invisibles. Who better, then, to take a look at the superheroes and their worlds, where they came from and how we've gotten to where we are with them now. What do they mean? What do they represent? And, as advertised, what do they teach us about ourselves? Morrison takes us on a guided tour of the last 75 or so years of caped wonders and how they guide humankind.
With a daunting scope and scale to cover, my only complaint with Supergods is one it can't - or couldn't have - overcome; I wanted more. More depth as Morrison considered aspects of comics in ways that sparked my thinking; more writers and artists and books covered. It's a physical impossibility, of course, given size, time and space limitations. A book like that could grow too long to write and too big to read.
Those heroes and examples that Morrison uses are often near and dear to me as well, so that helps. Known for being mostly a DC man, it was nice to find considered bits on Marvel's Killraven, Warlock and Mar-Vell and their creators, artists and writers.
I can heartily recommend this book to anyone who wants a bit of a survey about the history of comics along with some consideration of why we need superheroes - and why we're becoming them, in a way...
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