Supergods

Supergods

What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and A Sun God From Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human

Book - 2011
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From one of the most acclaimed and profound writers in the world of comics comes a thrilling and provocative exploration of humankind's great modern myth: the superhero
 
The first superhero comic ever published, Action Comics no. 1 in 1938, introduced the world to something both unprecedented and timeless: Superman, a caped god for the modern age. In a matter of years, the skies of the imaginary world were filled with strange mutants, aliens, and vigilantes: Batman, Wonder Woman, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, and the X-Men--the list of names as familiar as our own. In less than a century, they've gone from not existing at all to being everywhere we look: on our movie and television screens, in our videogames and dreams. But what are they trying to tell us?

For Grant Morrison, arguably the greatest of contemporary chroniclers of the "superworld," these heroes are powerful archetypes whose ongoing, decades-spanning story arcs reflect and predict the course of human existence: Through them we tell the story of ourselves, our troubled history, and our starry aspirations. In this exhilarating work of a lifetime, Morrison draws on art, science, mythology, and his own astonishing journeys through this shadow universe to provide the first true history of the superhero--why they matter, why they will always be with us, and what they tell us about who we are . . . and what we may yet become.

Publisher: New York : Spiegel & Grau, 2011
Edition: 1st ed. --
ISBN: 9781400069125
1400069122
Branch Call Number: 741.5352 Mor 3558ad 1
Characteristics: xvii, 444 p. :,ill

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SCL_Justin Aug 14, 2017

I want to recommend Grant Morrison’s Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human as if it was just a straight up recounting of superhero comics and how they developed. It’s a prose book, not comics itself. Very readable history. Yep. That’s it. Go read it.

Okay, I can’t do it. Even though I want to completely obscure the idiosyncratic bizarre excellence that the book contains, I won’t paper over the fact that an unsuspecting reader of comic-book history blithely following along with the tales of Bob Kane and Stan Lee and Kirby and Miller could be blindsided by this turn into Grant Morrison’s time in Kathmandhu when he met higher dimensional beings who explained to him how the universe works and how that affected his superhero comics (like the amazing All-Star Superman).

It’s a crazy great book about one writer’s relationship with superheroes and because he’s a bit of a mad egotist (in a very charming way) it feels like it’s more than just a story about a drug trip, at least more than one man’s psychedelic voyage but about a chunk of society’s weird shamanic voyaging.

If that sounds like a totally wankery waste of time to you, I won’t feel bad if you skip this one. I loved it though.

r
rswcove
Nov 20, 2015

This book, along with 'Ishmael' by Daniel Quinn, form a large part of what might be accurately described as my personal canon. trying to explain this book is like trying to explain the music of Jimi Hendrix. Don't explain, just experience- Supergods is a weird living artifact and should be approached with caution, like a unicorn found live in the wild.
Okay, all of that sounds insane- which is good. It will put you in the appropriate frame of mind.

s
starvark
Oct 20, 2013

The universe as experienced by Grant Morrison. Apparently he has appointed himself the arbiter of what is interesting and cool in comics. Watch him criticize everyone but himself! See him take credit for other people's work! (see comment on Neil Gaiman's 'Coraline'.) I finally got tired of what was turning out to be the autobiography of a self-impressed man. I like about half of his work, but this is not among it.

JCLJoshN Apr 17, 2013

As a long-time fan of Grant Morrison's comics, and superheroes in general, I found this combination of broad history and personal memoir very engaging, enlightening and entertaining. Morrison's view of superheroes is very much like my own (which is probably why I enjoy his writing so much). I loved his snarky take on superheroes that he didn't really like, but I also appreciate that he can admire well-done work even if he didn't personally enjoy it, and he's as critical of his own work as he is other people's. This is a bright, sarcastic, trippy journey through the 20th century and on into the future of pop culture and mythology.

m
malinaballerina
Jun 14, 2012

This is the guy who wrote Final Crisis, so the man knows his comics. It's a good read, definitely recommended for both casual readers and die-hard fans. I wouldn't say this is good for people who know nothing about comics, because Morrison has a tendency to go for the obscure.

g
GregAraujo
Aug 13, 2011

Part history of comic books; part autobiography.

A little trippy, but overall very entertaining.

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