on June 21, 2004
I am a fan of comic book superheroes; I try to see all the major Hollywood movies on superheroes like X-Men, Batman, Superman, etc... I am also a fan of the Sunday comics. But I have never read a comic book. So I picked this book up last month thinking it would be a good way to learn about comic book lore and history. This book accomplishes that. It covers the origins (and conclusions) of all the major comic book heroes. It also goes a little into the history of the authors / creators / publishers of these comic books.
The pace is quick, the book is short, and most teenagers should be able to read the whole book in a weekend. But as a piece of literary criticism, it is okay. This book to the comic book genre is like having one Cliff Notes book for all of Shakespeare; you sacrifice depth for breadth. Overarching themes are emphasized over storylines of the individual comic book heroes. There are a lot of interesting facts though; such as Harry Potter being an orphan, just like Batman, Superman, and the Hulk. In all, this book is worth reading if you have the time to spare. I definitely would recommend it as reading material for a college class on say 20th century American culture, or Mass Media / Entertainment.