The Myth of the Superhero

The Myth of the Superhero

by Marco Arnaudo
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

A refugee from his broken planet who saves earth (more than once), Superman was sent to America as his father’s final act before dying. Does this make him the ultimate immigrant success story? Disillusioned with a crime-filled world, Bruce Wayne seeks guidance from a shaman and transforms himself into the flawlessly moral Batman. Through a series of close

See more details below

Overview

A refugee from his broken planet who saves earth (more than once), Superman was sent to America as his father’s final act before dying. Does this make him the ultimate immigrant success story? Disillusioned with a crime-filled world, Bruce Wayne seeks guidance from a shaman and transforms himself into the flawlessly moral Batman. Through a series of close readings of DC and Marvel comics, Marco Arnaudo explores the influence of religion and myth on superhero stories as well as their relationship to the classical epic and baroque style.

Superheroes embody the most positive and inclusive aspects of American culture. Arnaudo asserts that, amidst the exciting action, tender love stories, and tales of self-sacrifice, superheroes are role models for tolerance and moral decision making. Translated for the first time into English, The Myth of the Superhero looks beyond the cape, the mask, and the superpowers, presenting a serious study of the genre and its place in a broader cultural context.

Johns Hopkins University Press

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Arnaudo’s (Italian, director of graduate studies, Indiana Univ.) discussion focuses on the influences of myth, religion, epic storytelling, and classical ideology in the superhero genre by dissecting its contributions to aspects of human morality and decision-making. His theoretical approach is accessible enough to draw in both comics book enthusiasts as well as cultural critics. Devotees will appreciate the emphasis on mainstream superheroes, showcasing theories of their favorite icons rather than fringe characters. Smartly organized chapters make for easy reference. While the analysis may not be breaking new ground, it serves as a good introduction to literary discussions; an illuminating read for fans.

Verdict Best suited for students of literary studies looking for cultural and ideological analysis; the general reader will glean useful insight into Superman’s psyche.—Matthew Gallagher, Victoria, BC
(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

PopCultureShelf.com - Dr. A. Ebert

Even though this is a rather thin volume, it refers to a multitude of aspects that place the superhero in the role of a fighter for tolerance, diversity and justice; the blueprints of their actions, however, were designed hundreds of years ago.

Comics Alternative - Derek Royal

The Myth of the Superhero is a work that should stand as a touchstone within institutional comics studies, while at the same time being an accessible and highly relevant text for casual and fanboy/girl readers.

Media International Australia - Jason Archbold

Arnaudo's book is an interesting analysis of some of the commonly overlooked significances of one of the most important media in modern pop culture. The criticism of the superhero comic book in regard to its dialogues with mythology is particularly perceptive, and sets up Arnaudo's discussion of the ways in which it can be used to portray and challenge ethical and cultural ideas.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781421409108
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
04/11/2013
Pages:
216
Sales rank:
920,019
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Giancarlo Lombardi

A very original and valuable contribution to the field of American pop culture.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >