By Ben Saunders
Brash, daring, and occasionally brutal, superheroes may appear to epitomize smooth pop-culture at its so much melodramatic and senseless. yet in line with Ben Saunders, the allure of the superhero is essentially metaphysical - even religious - in nature. In chapter-length analyses of the early comedian booklet adventures of Superman, ask yourself girl, Spider-Man, and Iron-Man, Saunders explores a few advanced philosophical and theological concerns, together with: the matter of evil; the will-to-power; the stress among intimacy and vulnerability; and the problem of affection, within the face of mortality.
He concludes that comedian booklet fantasies of the superhuman satirically demonstrate greater than we'd care to confess approximately our human obstacles, while they divulge the falsehood of the usually sleek competition among faith and technology.
Clearly and passionately written, this insightful and every now and then exhilarating e-book may still satisfaction all readers who think within the redemptive capability of the mind's eye, whether they think about themselves comedian publication fanatics
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Extra info for Do The Gods Wear Capes?: Spirituality, Fantasy, and Superheroes
Don’t let the disingenuously casual idiom fool you. Tectonic shifts in the continental plates of ideological fantasy and ethical awareness are implied by such tiny acts of cultural re-encryption, and if we listen carefully we can hear the reverberations resounding. At the heart of this American film about a quintessentially American icon, we can detect a loss of confidence in the moral validity of “The American Way” itself. Perry White’s generic and generalizing phrase (“all that stuff ”) is revealingly poignant: an obvious evasion that in its very circumlocution exposes an obscure embarrassment, a barely acknowledged shame.
For in the early days of their existence, comic books generally flew below the radar, as too insignificant for the nation’s cultural gatekeepers to notice. As sales climbed, and the comic book business was transformed from a vestigial wing of commercial publishing into a massively popular and lucrative form of entertainment, this situation would change. 4 So how was this fabulously subversive socialist Superman displaced and then erased from cultural memory? 8 As early as May 1940, Sterling North, literary editor of the Chicago Daily News, initiated the first “anti-comic book” campaign in the country, and in the words of 24 SUPERMAN: TRUTH, JUSTICE, AND ALL THAT STUFF comics historian Gerard Jones, “what he said struck a deep chord.
I read some of Marston’s academic work in close detail, laying out the most salient aspects of his psychological theories (which remain poorly understood, even among comic book historians). I also consider several of his early Wonder Woman stories as reflections of those theories, and in the process, I show how these stories confront the reader with erotic energies that more conventional superhero fantasies of the era concealed, excluded, and disavowed. I then reflect briefly on the ways in which Marston’s intentions have been misunderstood and misrepresented by many commentators, before showing how his own efforts to defend his work from criticism led him into some paradoxical spiritual territory (possibly to his own surprise).