When I read Kirby’s tales of shining contemporary gods walking the streets of Manhattan, I can even see beyond the Beats to Ginsberg’s solar sunflower muse, William Blake, whose titanic primal figures Orc and Urthona are given new dress as Kirby’s Mister Miracle and Mantis. The dark fires of Urizen burn again in the firepits of Darkseid’s death planet, Apololips. In Blake and Kirby both, we see the play of immense revolutionary forces that will not be chained or fettered, the Romantic revolution of the 1800s and the hip sixties.
This loose mashup of the history of American comics with Morrison’s potted autobiography just doesn’t add anything new.If you’re a fan of superhero comics or Morrison’s work you’ll have come across most of what he posits in interviews or other, better overviews and critiques of comic book history. Though his prose is poetic and evocative, Morrison skips over the interesting aspects of his own comics work and glides past the work of his contemporaries that would seem to contradict his (alleged) thesis that superheroes can teach us to be better people. He never makes a convincing case that we are living in “the age of the superhero” – aside from the rise of the superhero movie in Hollywood, superhero comics themselves are still a very niche aspect of popular culture. SuperGods just doesn’t hold together. You’d get much more out of reading one of Morrison’s actual comics (I’d recommend All-Star Superman, Flex Mentallo, Animal Man or The Invisibles).
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