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Do The Gods Wear Capes?: Spirituality, Fantasy, and Superheroes (New Directions in Religion & Literature) Paperback – August 4, 2011
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‘Ben Saunders has done for comics analysis what Alan Moore did for comics literature. <span style="font-style: italic;">Do the Gods Wear Capes?</span> is a provocative, intelligent, and thought-provoking work, and Saunders’ insights rise from the page with the same power and grace as those iconic characters he examines. Certainly the best critical work on the meaning and impact of those marquee super-heroes that define the genre and that we encounter in myriad ways every day as has ever been written.’ (Greg Rucka, novelist and author of Batwoman: Elegy, White-Out, and Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia )
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Top Customer Reviews
So, don't judge this illuminating and useful book by Sonntag's comments. He appears not to have read Saunders carefully. DO THE GODS WEAR CAPES? is an important addition to the critical conversation about superheroes and one of the few rock-solid, well-constructed scholarly books on the genre. It's also quite well written: Saunders has an accessible, trenchant style that lifts his work well beyond that of many treatises on the genre.
If you're intrigued by scholarly discussions of comics, superheroes, popular culture, and/or spirituality, you'll find the book very rewarding. I consider it a must-have for those wanting to do in-depth critical work on superheroes. In the future I'll definitely be using it in my writing and teaching.
I have loved the comic book heroes since I was a child. I admired and envied their superhuman ways of being in the world, yet at the same time so wonderfully flawed emotionally. That was part of their appeal for me. That made them much more real and identifiable, beings I could relate to.
Growing up in an emotionally unhealthy home (who didn't?) they helped me escape from reality and dream and imagine. It was harmless and saved me from feeling sorry for myself because I had a way to escape as well, just as they did.
I also was taught in some ways by these same superheroes in ways the originators may or may not have imagined they would influence their readership, yet Saunders recognizes this and articulates it beautifully numerous times and in just one example as follows:
"To take the ethical choice is therefore to commit to a lifelong project; it is not a once-and-for-all decision to 'do the right thing' so much as an endless process of self-examination and self-correction."
It's those kind of sentences that took me to another level of understanding and truly let this 60-year-old woman off the hook and can stop feeling guilty for loving the superheroes, still loving them.
I was constantly surprised by Saunders' insights and every time he expanded a new understanding for me, I felt that wonderful insight rise to the surface, and say yes, yes, that's right. That's exactly right.
Thank you, Professor Saunders, for writing this most enjoyable and erudite book about a subject I've loved most of my life, but which is derided as trite way too often.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I admit to not getting far into this book. I think it expands on his dissertation so, yes, it's a bore; at the same time, it panders to it's undergraduate readership. Read morePublished on December 18, 2013 by SKooLBoY jiM
I have been a collector since 1991. Since purchasing this book, I have been able to 'talk the talk' with people who love comics. Read morePublished on June 20, 2013 by Hayes Hurwitz
This book achieves a solid balance between being accessible enough for the everyday superhero fan and intellectually rigorous enough to be a scholarly book that can be read by... Read morePublished on January 18, 2012 by Marc E. DiPaolo
This is an excellent scholarly work on the whole superhero creation. If you're looking for a comic book style of writing , this is not it -- if you're looking for some really good... Read morePublished on November 18, 2011 by Jean Cottel