How to Read Superhero Comics and Why

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September 2002



Superhero comic books are traditionally thought to have two distinct periods, two major waves of creativity: the Golden Age and the Silver Age. In simple terms, the Golden Age was the birth of the superhero proper out of the pulp novel characters of the early 1930s, and was primarily associated with the DC Comics Group. Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman are the most famous creations of this period. In the early 1960s, Marvel Comics launched a completely new line of heroes, the primary figures of the Silver Age: the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, the X-Men, the Avengers, Iron Man, and Daredevil.


Melancholy and the Infinite Earths; The Bat and the Watchmen - Introducing the Revisionary Superhero Narrative; 'It is with considerable difficulty ' - The Revisionary Superhero Narrative, Phase Two; America's Best Comics - Tracing the (Re)visionary Company; Pumping up the Volume - The Revisionary Superhero Narrative Approaches the New Age; The Superhero as Critic - The Birth of the Modern Age; Epilogue - Pop Comics, Harold Bloom at Harvard, and the Oedipal Fallacy.


Geoff Klock is the author of How to Read Superhero Comics and Why (Continuum, 2002) a study guided by Harold Bloom's poetics of influence. After getting a Masters degree in English he spent two years studying literature as a night security guard. He was then admitted to Balliol College, Oxford. His doctoral thesis there, Imaginary Biographies: Misreading the Lives of the Poets, focuses on Romantic poetry and its extensions through the 20th century- specifically poetry's bizarre and idiosyncratic portrayals of historical writers (e.g. Virgil in Dante's Divine Comedy). This work will be followed by a complementary study of the same device in popular culture, (e.g. Johnny Depp's portrayal of William Blake in Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man). Geoff Klock is twenty-seven years old, and was raised in Texas, where he attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. For more information visit his website at


"The strengths of the book are the many [...] connections made to literary and psychoanalytical figures, the attempt to explain the metamorphosis of a new type of superhero comic, and a close reading of the comic books used to support the book's thesis. The book does add new dimensions to the much-overworked subject of superhero comic books." Choice, May 2002 & May 2003
EAN: 9780826414199
ISBN: 0826414192
Untertitel: New. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: September 2002
Seitenanzahl: 216 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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