Orren Merton's Reviews > Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human

Supergods by Grant Morrison
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Aug 14, 11

Read from August 09 to 14, 2011

Like the rambling subtitle of Supergods (What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us about Being Human), this book attempts to cover a fair amount of ground. It's part history of the modern comic book industry, beginning in the early 20th century; part autobiography of Grant Morrison's life and experience in the comic book industry; and part philosophy book, delving into the purpose and power of myth and mythology in Western Civilization, placing superhero fiction (whether in print or visual media) into a larger context of human creativity and spirituality.

That's a lot to tackle in 424 pages, and for the most part, I think Supergods does. The history, especially the early history, feels complete and inclusive. The autobiographical information paints and honest picture of Morrison, both reveling in his achievements and experiences and not shirking from his lower moments and feelings when he disappointed himself. And he's expresses his philosophy of how superhero fiction fits into myth, mythology, and his view of reality and the universe coherently, supporting his opinions with supplementary text and information to flesh it out even further.

Where I feel the book misses it's mark is that they are all sort of jumbled together. Especially in the beginning of the book, he'll simply follow up a sentence of straight history to a sentence of biography with no real transition. Usually, the autobiography and philosophy are melded in satisfying ways, but sometimes not. I would sometimes find myself referring back a few pages to see if I missed something, or if I'd skipped some pages since due to the lack of transitioning.

So while the lack of transition and the sometimes loose organization made the book sometimes a bit more challenging than it might have been, as I said the information was all there and extremely enjoyable and informative. I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand the place of the superhero genre in our storytelling tradition, wants to know more about Grant Morrison, and is interested in comic history.
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08/09/2011 page 58
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