Do The Gods Wear Capes?: Spirituality, Fantasy, and Super... and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $25.95
  • Save: $2.59 (10%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 5 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by thrift_books
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Ex-Library Book - will contain Library Markings. Book has appearance of light use with no easily noticeable wear. Millions of satisfied customers and climbing. Thriftbooks is the name you can trust, guaranteed. Spend Less. Read More.
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $9.47
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Do The Gods Wear Capes?: Spirituality, Fantasy, and Superheroes (New Directions in Religion and Literature) Paperback – August 4, 2011


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$23.36
$20.35 $19.68
Best%20Books%20of%202014


Frequently Bought Together

Do The Gods Wear Capes?: Spirituality, Fantasy, and Superheroes (New Directions in Religion and Literature) + Kingdom Come
Price for both: $35.21

Buy the selected items together
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Series: New Directions in Religion and Literature
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic (August 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 082644198X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826441980
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #473,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

‘Ben Saunders sets the bar high for himself when he says at the outset that a book about pop superheroes must be a book about spirituality and therefore about love. That might seem to place an unsupportable weight on the shoulders of Superman, Wonderwoman, Spiderman, and Iron man, but in this learned yet entirely accessible essay, Saunders makes both his thesis and his heroes stand up.’ (Stanley Fish, Davidson-Kahn Distinguished University Professor of Humanities and Law, Florida International University, USA )

&#8216;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&#8217; 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.&#8217; (Greg Rucka, novelist and author of Batwoman: Elegy, White-Out, and Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia )

About the Author

Ben Saunders is Associate Professor of English at the University of Oregon. He is author of Desiring Donne: Poetry, Sexuality, Interpretation (Harvard University Press, 2006) and co-editor, with Roger Beebe and Denise Fulbrook, of Rock Over the Edge: Essays in Popular Music Culture (Duke University Press, 2002).

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
5 star
7
4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
2
See all 9 customer reviews
Since my first reading, I have had a better appreciation of the origins of comic books.
Hayes Hurwitz
If you're intrigued by scholarly discussions of comics, superheroes, popular culture, and/or spirituality, you'll find the book very rewarding.
Charles Hatfield
It was harmless and saved me from feeling sorry for myself because I had a way to escape as well, just as they did.
Janice Friend

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Charles Hatfield on August 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
Sonntag's review notwithstanding, Saunders' book is not a ripoff of Knowles' book. The methodologies of the two books are very different. Saunders engages in long, careful readings of particular characters, and engages the material on a different level than Knowles. His approach is not "speculative" but exploratory; in other words, he isn't try to draw speculative historical connections. Instead, he's trying to READ the comics carefully, through the lens of contemporary theology as well as contemporary literary and cultural theory. In the process he does some startling and VERY interesting work.

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.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Janice Friend on August 7, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I expected an inaccessible scholarly read, but what I received was a book I couldn't put down, enlightening, entertaining, and challenging. I'm not an academic. This book was written for us all, scholars and just Plain Janes like me.

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.

Janice Friend
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Laura Allred on August 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
Ben Saunders is a professor at the University of Oregon and curated the greatest exhibit of comic book art ever (as all who saw it would attest) at the University museum. His brilliance, intellect, and respect for the comic book art form make me feel like my chosen profession of writing and drawing comics was a halfway decent career choice. It's a thrill to have such deep thought and study captured by Professor Saunders in this book, and I'm honored to have been asked to illustrate the cover. Though my dear friends Steve Rude and Mike Baron are the creators of Nexus (responding to a previous review), I'd like to think that any similarity to the design of my character on the cover is completely original and inspired by "those who came before" only on a subconscious level. Though I would argue that it needs way more pictures, I highly recommend this book.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on September 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The antithesis of shallow fanboy pandering, Saunders' DO THE GODS WEAR CAPES? is a thoughtful, well-reasoned, ultimately satisfying exploration of a surprisingly neglected theme suffusing many superhero comics - spirituality. Applying a chapter-by-chapter analysis of the oft-overlooked moral & ethical aspects of four iconic characters - Superman, Wonder Woman, Spider Man, and Iron Man - Saunders uncovers surprising links between these well-known superhumans and such all-too-ordinary concerns as the terror of vulnerability, the burden of guilt, and the difficulty of love. Potential readers who might be wary of GODS academic tone and at times complex philosophical/theological ruminations are encouraged to leave their doubts at the door - this is an elegantly-described, deeply felt, fascinating journey. One that references everything from the notion that 1973's AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #121 (wherein Peter Parker accidentally killed girlfriend Gwen Stacey while trying to save her) marked the end of "the joyful...so-called Silver Age (of comics) to the more uncertain, pessimistic and cynical Bronze Age," to the theory that a sequence in the first IRON MAN film (wherein Gwyneth Paltrow manually replaces Robert Downey Jr.'s chest-based power unit) can also be read as a near-hardcore sex scene! Obviously the result of a life-long fan who both respects and understands the medium, DO THE GODS WEAR CAPES? is an important work that belongs on the bookshelf - digital or actual - of any serious comic book aficionado.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again