Super Heroics

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library - Central Library

Super Heroics

Heroism and its Discontents

The spate of recent and upcoming superhero movies tends only to show the more successful heroes and crimefighters; your Batmans, Spider-Mans, Avengers... But what about those second- or third-tier superheroes?

How about taking a look at the junior varsity superhero squad?
cover image for Death RayThe Death-Ray by Daniel Clowes
The story of a social outcast who develops superpowers through an alarmingly bad habit. From the author of Ghostworld and Art School Confidential.

cover image for Soon I will Be InvincibleSoon I will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman
A look at the hierarchies of superpower accrual -- surgical, mystical or alien technological.

cover image of American GodsAmerican Gods by Neil Gaiman
A story of ancient gods mixing it up with modern ones where the fate of the world hangs in the balance.

cover image of Amazing ADventure of Kavalier and ClayThe Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
The story of the duo behind the creation of a hero called the Escapist, a Nazi-busting escape artist during the 1930s. This hero is actually more of an A-lister, but the main characters are perhaps less so. Also look out for a cameo by Salvador Dali!

cover image of Understanding ComicsUnderstanding Comics by Scott McCloud
This is for if you are confused by the whole superhero/comics enterprise. This graphic novel is a great resource for understanding the aesthetics, critical theory and narrative devices of comics.