Monday, March 26, 2012

A Power Greater Than Bombs

With the arrival of the first real-life global supervillain, the stage was set for the Free World's response. When the retort came, it was from the ranks of the underdogs; two shy, bespectacled, and imaginative young science fiction fans from Cleveland, who were revving up typewriter and bristol board to unleash a power greater than bombs, giving form to an ideal that would effortlessly outlast Hitler and his dreams of a Thousand Year Reich.
- Supergods
by Grant Morrison

Perhaps God or the grand workings of the universe has a sense of irony. Or maybe it was just pure, simple coincidence that while Hitler was consolidating political and military power and inciting rampant antisemitism, two Jewish youths from Cleveland were concocting a story that would go on long after Hitler was dead. Hitler had an army. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster had a story. They had Superman.

Yes, we might be in trouble here. I have started to read Supergods, Grant Morrison's book that's part biography, part history of the comic book industry, and part philosophy about myths and stories. I'm not too far into it yet, but so far it reads like a love letter to superheroes and the idea of a bigger and better world than the one we've manifested for ourselves. 

Of course, Morrison devotes much time to Superman, that primordial and pinnacle superhero. Morrison clearly has a fondness for the character. His remarkable All Star Superman is a 12 issue celebration of the character. He also currently writes Action Comics, the title in which the Kryptonian character first debuted in 1938.

It is likely that many Daily Quotes will come from this read, as it seems full of short snippets discussing the power of superhero stories and reveling in the awe and hope the genre can create. Consider this a warning. If you've ever thought the ideas coming from my head are bizarre, the notions of Morrison may outright wrinkle  your brain.

Man, the world of graphic literature is a fun ride.

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