The first superhero comic ever published, Action Comics #1 in 1938, introduced the world to something both unprecedented and profoundly familiar: Superman, a caped god for the modern age. In a matter of years, the skies of the imaginary world were filled with strange mutants, aliens, and vigilantes: Batman, Wonder Woman, the Fantastic Four, Captain Marvel, Iron Man, and the X-Men—the list of names is as familiar as our own. In less than a century they’ve gone from not existing at all to being everywhere we look: on our movie and television screens, in our videogames and dreams. But why?
For Grant Morrison, possibly the greatest of contemporary superhero storytellers, these heroes are not simply characters but powerful archetypes whose ongoing, decades-spanning story arcs reflect and predict the course of human existence: Through them, we tell the story of ourselves. In this exhilarating book, Morrison draws on history, art, mythology, and his own astonishing journeys through this alternate universe to provide the first true chronicle of the superhero—why they matter, why they will always be with us, and what they tell us about who we are.
CONTENTS:The sun god and The dark knight -- Lightning's childl -- The superwarrior and the Amazon princess -- The explosion and the extinction -- Superman on the couch -- Chemicals and lightening -- The fab four and the birth of the marvelous -- Superpop -- Infinite earths -- Shamans of Madison Avenue -- Brightest day, blackest night -- Feared and misunderstood -- Fearful symmetry -- Zenith -- The hateful dead -- Image versus substance -- King Mob : my life as a superhero -- Man of muscle mystery -- What's so funny about truth, justice, and the American way? -- Respecting authority -- Hollywood sniffs blood -- Nu marvel 9/11 -- The day evil won -- Iron men and incredibles -- Over the event horizon -- Star, legend, superhero, supergod? -- Outro: 'nuff said.