Supergods is a book about superheroes from one of the most iconoclastic of comic book writers, Grant Morrison. To sum it up, Morrison provides an analysis of over 70 years of the superhero mythos whilst at the same time dovetailing the subject matter into some kind of meta-autobiography.

Yes, apart from merely listing out the historical development of the superhero since the introduction of Superman in 1938, Morrison posits the real-life impact of superheroes (and stories), casting them as gods, Supergods even – the embodiment of the best (or worst) of mankind’s potential. Morrison believes as he quotes Pico della Mirandola (Italian scholar/philosopher of the Renaissance) that through stories and imagination, human beings have the power to reshape their futures.

Morrison himself of course is suitably placed to take this expansive world view, for not only is he one of the top comic book writers of all time (authoring acclaimed work like Arkham Asylum, JLA, All-Star Superman, New X-Men, Animal Man, Doom Patrol, The Invisibles et al) but he is also a practitioner of what he calls “chaos magic” with much of his other-worldly experiences ending up in his own comic book stories. You might say he “walks the talk” when it comes to superheroes.

Morrison’s writing style here is hyperbolic (as befits his subject matter) but down-to-earth enough when he discusses personal details. There is drama, humour and big ideas in each and every page of Supergods. For diehard fans of Morrison, comic books and students of the art of storytelling, Supergods is essential.

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