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Supergods: Our World in the Age of the Superhero by [Morrison, Grant]
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Supergods: Our World in the Age of the Superhero Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Length: 480 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Review

"It offers the same switchback exhilaration as Morrison's comic books" (Sunday Herald)

"The author shows a deft turn of phrase while appraising his fellow creators...Supergods proves an entertaining introduction to newcomers" (Metro)

Book Description

The mind-bending history of superheroes by comics legend Grant Morrison.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2314 KB
  • Print Length: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (7 July 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005AXZHI2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #209,117 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'll be frank from the off - I was a Grant Morrison fanboy way back in his early Doom Patrol and Animal Man days, although he lost me for a while with the Invisibles, so I wouldn't claim to be impartial. But the reason I loved his comics is the same reason this prose book is so damn good. He's genuinely passionate, smart as whip, and comes at things from odd angles.

It's a blend of a historical and sociological examination of the early days of comics taking this through to the current era (and there are some gems in there - the fact that Wonder Woman's creator also invented the polygraph is one of those things that is so perfect - when you consider her lariat of truth, that even if Morrison has made it up, it ought to be true), with his own beginnings as a consumer and creator, to some mind-expanding bits of how he opened his consciousness and go his ideas pouring out. He can approach comics and the writing of them with a critical eye as to their limitations, but also an eye on the huge potential and wonder that can be found in their pages if you get the right combination of passion, ideas, talent and an artistic take.

You may well not believe him when he talks about writing sequences in the Invisibles as part of a magical construct to make good things happen to him in his real life, you may or may not believe that he himself believes it, but the fact that he even thinks about it and shares this with the reader is fascinating. Who else is writing that sort of stuff these days? I want my creators of superhero fiction to believe that magic exists.
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Format: Paperback
The first half of Supergods was a reasonably entertaining account of the history of the superhero, with enough interesting anecdotes and tangents to keep me reading all through the golden and silver age. But when Morrison reaches the '80s and increasingly starts mentioning his own contributions to the world of comics, the book nosedives into a strangely self-obsessed never-ending autobiographical rant. Not really what I signed up for, gave up.
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Format: Hardcover
Part critical history of comics, part memoir of the writing trade, part mashup of fringe science, pop psychology, and this month's secrets-of-marketing-trends business bestseller, this entertaining, inchoate mess of a book purports to be an essay on superheroes and their significance to us. Of course, significance is in the eye of the beholder when it comes to pop culture, and while experience and common sense may tell us that the detective, the spy, the soldier, and the gangster are fictional archetypes with genuinely universal appeal, the superhero remains, like jazz, an American phenomenon that, in other countries, comes across either as an imitation of the American product, or as something based on such specifically regional imaginative archetypes as to fall outside the "superhero" label altogether. (Harry Potter, anyone?)

Why is the superhero an American rather than a global phenomenon? Morrison doesn't really have an answer for that, but the fun of this story -- and any mythology is all about stories that should've happened -- lies in the telling. Morrison sees the cyclical rise and fall of the superhero comic as a recursive process of imaginative evolution, and devises a four-part structure (like FINNEGANS WAKE) to contain and illustrate the theme. "The Golden Age" and "The Silver Age" are funny and critically astute assessments of the subject, although newspaper comic strips and pulp fiction are simply omitted from the discussion, which leaves out the Spirit, the Phantom, Doc Savage, and the Shadow. This may be only because the author didn't grow up with these characters.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I have start by saying that I have really enjoyed reading this book, as it has reminded me of much of my personal history in and around the subject matter, it is however hard to recommend. Neither a masterful history of comic books, nor an intriguing autobiography of Morrison's journey through psychedelia, meta-fiction and the world of superheroes, it ends up being a poorly edited mish-mash of both.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
'Supergods' makes one point abundantly clear: Grant Morrison loves, knows, and understands superheroes. Growing up in Scotland, Mr. Morrison saw American comics and their heroes as a means of escapse and as a means of stimulating the imagination. He has written in the form of 'Supergods' a history of American heroes, from their birth in the early twentieth century into the twenty-first.

My only complaint about the book is that Mr. Morrison takes the opportunity to promote himself. True, he was responsible for the creation of 'Doom Patrol' and 'The Invisibles', but there is something odious about singing their praises, especially when one thinks that Mr. Morrison cannot be objective. Nevertheless, 'Supergods' is an engrossing and authoritative read. Highly recommended.
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