Saturday, January 5, 2008

Superheroes are older than we think

Superheroes are older than we think
Robert Hudson reviews Our Gods Wear Spandex by Christopher Knowles

Alan Moore's Watchmen was the only graphic novel to appear in Time magazine's 2005 list of the finest 100 novels written in English since 1923. Moore also wrote The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and V for Vendetta, both of which have been turned into movies. Open any of these books and you are plunged into an allusive world of post-modern playfulness, analogy and reference. Symbols of Egyptian gods and sinister Masonic uniforms appear on Professor Moriarty's evil airship as he battles the Invisible Man, Alan Quartermain and brutal Mr Hyde.

Moore is a self-proclaimed magician, and one interpretation of his worldview is the old dictum that when you stop believing in God, you start believing in everything. The more generous interpretation is that the world of the superheroes is a richer one than most people give it credit for, and its authors and artists work within a fascinating tradition, reaching unbroken back into antiquity, in which archetypes are constantly revised, revisited and reinterpreted.

full story here:

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