Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human by Grant Morrison – A review
Posted by thestrangersbookshelf
I have been reading comics for over 30 years now and hold a great love for the superhero genre. My love of superheroes extends beyond just reading and collecting comics. I am always looking for other mediums to seek out great superhero stories. Mediums like novels and short stories, Table top Roleplaying games, as well as movies, video games and collectibles. In doing so I have come across some fascinating and insightful non-fiction that has come from scholars, fans, industry personnel, and of course the artists and writers themselves.
Grant Morrison is no stranger to comic book fans, He is one of the top writers of comic book superhero fiction that came along with the rest of the British invasion in the 80’s that kicked off a new style of storytelling. Born in Glascow in 1960, Morrison grew up surrounding himself with comics and always wanting to become a writer of the medium, which is a which was fulfilled by hard work and dedication to the craft. Some of his most acclaimed work started in the late 80’s with the graphic novel Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth which was a fantastic nightmare story set in the batman universe. This lead to a amazing run on Animal Man and Doom Patrol. In the 90’s and seeking creative control of his own characters he created his own amazing superhero series The Invisibles for Vertigo comics. In the 2000’s Grant did a amazing run on one of Marvel comics premier titles The X-men before returning back into the DC fold to take over some of their biggest titles such as JLA, Batman and Robin, and Superman. He continues to write and create great stories to this day.
His long and exciting career in comics has left him with a lot of insights into the superhero genre. Wanting to share his knowledge on the history and what he has learned by writing superhero fiction, Grant Morrison penned Supergods. Part autobiography, part comic book history and part insight into industry trends, Grant Morrison has weaved an astounding amount of research into one book. Here is the blurb on the back cover of what the book is about (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Iron Man, and the X-Men—the list of names as familiar as our own. They are on our movie and television screens, in our videogames and in our dreams. But what are they trying to tell us? For Grant Morrison, one of the most acclaimed writers in the world of comics, these heroes are powerful archetypes who reflect and predict the course of human existence: Through them we tell the story of ourselves. In this exhilarating work of a lifetime, Morrison draws on art, archetypes, and his own astonishing journeys through this shadow universe to provide the first true history of our great modern myth: the superhero.)
I found Supergods a great read for the superhero fanatic like myself. When I finished reading Supergods I actually had post partum book depression. I had ordered my copy through the public library and was forced to take it back because there was holds on it. I had finished Supergods but with such a extensive amount of information being thrown at you there was just so much information to process. I had to go out and buy my own copy to re read a lot of the information that Grant litters throughout this amazing literary contribution to superheroes. And there is no company bias what so ever, Grant gives equal time to both Marvel and DC as well as some of the independent comics like Image. Learning about some of the history and ins and out of DC comics, was especially interesting because no one has yet written the definitive history of DC, like Sean Howe did for Marvel comics in his book Marvel: the Untold Story (review forthcoming). Grant Morrison also gives you a extensive reading list at the back with both nonfiction and comic book reads that takes you through the different ages of comic book history. Writing this book Grant Morrison gives you the feeling that he loves superheroes as much as his fan base does and this love flows through out the pages and even though there is a bit of self promotion through out Supergods, Morrison’s work alone is a testament to excellent story telling and his own contributions to history of comics and should not be taken lightly by any account.
As this is the start of Superhero month, I recommend that this book be apart of your reading list. So if you can, run on down to your local bookstore or library and grab yourself a copy of Grant Morrison’s Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human. And while you are at it check out some of Grant Morrison’s great contributions to superhero comics as listed below.
Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth by Grant Morrison and illustrated by Dave McKean.
Doom Patrol (with Richard Case, Doug Braithwaite, Mike Dringenberg and Vincent Giarrano,
Animal Man (with Chas Truog, Tom Grummett and Paris Cullins,
The Invisibles: Considered Grant Morrison’s Omnibus
Flex Mentallo with Frank Quitely
Marvel Boy with J. G. Jones
New X-Men by Grant Morrison
JLA by Grant Morrison
All-Star Superman By Grant Morrison with Frank Quitely
I am the Exuberant Enigma Eric from The Stranger’s Bookshelf wishing you the best in your fight against villainy.