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Why are so many of the superhero myths tied up with loss, often violent, of parents or parental figures? What is the significance of the dual identity? What makes some superhuman figures “good” and others “evil”? Why are so many of the prime superheroes white and male? How has the superhero evolved over the course of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries? And how might the myths be changing?
Why is it that the key superhero archetypes—Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, the X-Men—touch primal needs and experiences in everyone? Why has the superhero moved beyond the pages of comics into other media?
All these topics, and more, are covered in this lively and original exploration of the reasons why the superhero—in comic books, films, and TV—is such a potent myth for our times and culture.