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

Grant Morrison
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $18.00
Kindle Price: $10.99
You Save: $7.01 (39%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human
Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Iron Man, and the X-Men—the list of names as familiar as our own. They are on our movie and television screens, in our videogames and in our dreams. But what are they trying to tell us? For Grant Morrison, one of the most acclaimed writers in the world of comics, these heroes are powerful archetypes who reflect and predict the course of human existence: Through them we tell the story of ourselves. In this exhilarating work of a lifetime, Morrison draws on art, archetypes, and his own astonishing journeys through this shadow universe to provide the first true history of our great modern myth: the superhero.
Now with a new Afterword.

Editorial Reviews Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, July 2011: According to Supergods, Superman comics say less about Superman than they do about Clark Kent. Superman was conceived as a symbol of strength and individualism for the Depression-era middle class--perhaps a more compelling portrait of the era than much literature of the time. But this is just one of the many superhero mythologies author Grant Morrison unpacks to give colorful historical and cultural context. Morrison, a prolific comics storyteller with a career spanning 20 years writing for both Marvel and DC Comics, may be the world's most qualified superhero scholar. (Morrison's reinvention of the Man of Steel, the All Star Superman series, is arguably the best comic of the past decade.) But Supergods isn't a book that appeals strictly to fanboys. Like his comics, Morrison's prose is swift yet powerful, and it's the broader strokes of the Supergods narrative that resonate most. The book succeeds at being a great history of comic books over the past century, but it's an even more convincing exploration of humankind as a whole. --Kevin Nguyen


Praise for Grant Morrison
“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.”—Stan Lee
“Grant’s whole body of work inspired me.”—Gerard Way, My Chemical Romance
“I suddenly realized that everything that I’m trying to say in my nonfiction work, and in some of my fiction work, had been so beautifully and so imaginatively expressed in the work of Grant Morrison.”—Deepak Chopra

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • File Size: 4131 KB
  • Print Length: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Spiegel & Grau; Reprint edition (July 19, 2011)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004J4WL7S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #283,596 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
55 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Part Sociology, Part Biography of an Industry June 8, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Grant Morrison, comic book luminary, presents a thoughtful dissection of the comic book industry, from its origins to the present. It's not what I was expecting, but it was very interesting, and an analysis worthy of a doctoral thesis. It is, in turns, the biography of the comic book industry, an examination of the sociology of the western world since the depression-era appearance of Superman, autobiography of Morrison himself, and review of how real life and the world of the superheroic are converging.

Morrison begins his book, fittingly, with an examination of what made Superman and Batman iconic when they first appeared. For me, this was fascinating, recognizing that the Superman I knew had started not just as an archetypal hero of strength with bold colors of the daytime, but a symbol of the strength of the individual and middle-American farmers against industry and big business during the Great Depression. On the other end of the spectrum was Batman, a big-city, wealthy hero in the dark of night, whose intellect was his only power. Batman was tested by a series of villains inspired by psychiatric disorders, whom he would physically beat into submission.

From there, the author broadens his scope to track the development of the industry as it is influenced by political and cultural changes such as McCarthyism, heroes from the age of science inspired by Kennedy's presidency, the rise of psychedelia and the drug culture, the gritty vigilantism of the 70s and 80s, the events and repercussions of 9/11, and expansion into the film industry.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Who should buy Supergods? Some of the negative reviews below are from readers complaining that this book isn't what they thought it was. To clarify: Supergods is partly a history and critical analysis of the superhero concept and partly Grant Morrison's autobiography as an artist. There are dozens, perhaps a hundred pages in the book that analyze key superhero comic book classics (Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns, various Golden Age and Silver Age classics), so if you haven't read those yet, start there. Also, in my opinion there's little point in reading a writer's biography if you haven't read some of their best works. For Morrison, the best to start with are Arkham Asylum, All Star Superman, We3, and The Invisibles, (while fans of longer, more traditional superhero series may want to check out his bestselling runs on New X-Men, JLA, and Batman). Readers already well-versed in superhero comics and particularly readers already familiar with Morrison's unique brand of cerebral, trippy, idea-filled fiction will get the most from Supergods. Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I, for one, welcome our super saviors... November 7, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Grant Morrison's saga of the superhero from its birth to its many tomorrows is a welcome breeze wafting from an endless summer somewhere in the future where we will all become superbeings. Welcome to me, at least, who, like the author, grew up absolutely enthralled by comic books.

And like Morrison, I'm tired and bored with the dystopian, snarling pretenders in tights who masquerade as superheroes these days. I'm no Pollyanna or prude afraid of the dark - I've spent a fair share of my career writing about dark worlds present and future - but there's still that kid in me who grew up believing in Stan Lee's admonition that "with great power comes great responsibility." Too many superheroes have mistaken their shirking of responsibility for a punk rebellion against authority.

The contrasts between the Green Lantern and Captain America movies highlight this problem. Hal Jordan allows himself to be convinced - all too easily - that he doesn't deserve the ring he's been given by a dying hero. His acceptance of his role finally comes rather perfunctorily, as a necessity for the final act, rather than from any real desire to live up to his destiny. Not so with Steve Rogers, who is untiring in his efforts to shoulder more responsibility than his weak frame can handle.

Morrison thinks superheroes are archetypes of aspiration, untiring and, in the end, always undefeated. His book chronicles the pop culture history of this archetype in many of its manifestations, not just in comics but also in similar trends in music and fashion. I've read many of the comics he calls upon as exemplars, and I loved reading another author's heartfelt and deeply illuminating appreciation of these works.

Heartfelt is the key word for this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Holy bad book batman
Skip it if you know anything about comics or mythology. Waste of my time and I love to read for the sack of reading.m
Published 1 month ago by Brad
5.0 out of 5 stars Morrison delves deep into the rationale behind superheroes while also...
Morrison delves deep into the rationale behind superheroes while also covering the history of the industry. Perfectly written and filled with insights.
Published 1 month ago by laurence evans
4.0 out of 5 stars let me preface this by saying I am an enormous Grant Morrison fan -...
First, let me preface this by saying I am an enormous Grant Morrison fan - he's easily on my "Mount Rushmore" of graphic fiction writers (rounded out by Warren Ellis, Alan... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Henok Kidane
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by The Devvil
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read
Published 2 months ago by Flabiano
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
bought for a fan of Grant Morrison
Published 3 months ago by chebs
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
Was suppose to be a new book but it was not covered with a protective cover. It was covered with dust and debris and had a red mark on the pages. I am disappointed.
Published 3 months ago by gjb
5.0 out of 5 stars wow.
I must confess that I had struggled to read this book for close to 2 years, then I got the audible read-along and I'm so glad I did. Read more
Published 3 months ago by wilson6923
4.0 out of 5 stars Grant Morrison knows
Grant Morrison knows comics and loves comics. His love for comics shines through this entire book.
Published 7 months ago by Exidor
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
Awesome book. Grant Morrison is one of the greatest comic writers of all time. This book is such an awesome and detailed history of superheroes and how they have related to... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Chandler Burns
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More About the Author

Grant Morrison is one of comics' greatest innovators. His long list of credits includes Batman: Arkham Asylum, JLA, Seven Soldiers, Animal Man, Doom Patrol, The Invisibles and The Filth. He is currently writing Batman and All-Star Superman.

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