What is a Superhero?
Edited by Robin S. Rosenberg, PhD and Peter Coogan, PhD
Reviews and Awards
"This collection is lively, insightful, thoughtful and often funny discussion of what exactly it means to be a superhero. What Is a Superhero? opens up the world of heroes to everyone and shows us what they truly mean in our lives." --New York Journal of Books
"What I loved was that none of the extraordinary essayists seemed able to restrict him or herself to WHAT IS A SUPERHERO without venturing into the WHY--why read them? Why write them? Why superheroes at all? And the consensus is a validation of all my hopes and suspicions about the genre: that like its cousins (opera, melodrama, Commedia dell'Arte and Greek myth, among them), the superhero genre has the ability to act as a cultural magnifying glass or perhaps funhouse mirror, connecting us to truths about our best and worst selves more viscerally than anything that can be accomplished by pure naturalism. Then, not content with just what and why, my favorite pieces braved the question of HOW too... I can't help but imagine my own craft will be deepened for having spent some time with these writers' reflections." -- Kelly Sue DeConnick, writer of Marvel's Avenge and Captain Marvel series
"This is a focused effort that advances understanding of comics from a psychological perspective. While the editors make clear that the book will not provide any definitive answer, the wide-ranging chapters push scholars to investigate superheroes and supervillains as cultural evidence about who we were in the past and are today. These two books are imprtant works in a burgeoning field." -A. W. Austin, Misericordia University, CHOICE
"This collection is a helpful glimpse into the current opinions on the nature and meaning of the superhero among scholars and creators." --The Journal of American Culture