Summer Reading B2G1 Free
 
 

Review-a-Day

Rain Taxi

 

Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us about Being Human by Grant Morrison

Virgil for Superheroes

A review by Greg Baldino

Whether they be gods or angels, the idea of sentient beings beyond us mere mortals but recognizably similar has influenced human thought since the earliest days of tale-telling around the fire. In some tellings, they are of a state of grace from whence humans fell; in others they are a potential, something that might, by labor or virtue, be reached by all. In the 20th century, these tales were given new form with the advent, at the publishing of Superman's first adventure in Action Comics #1, of the superhero. This sub-genre of a sub-genre, born of the highest mythologies and the lowest pulp denominators, rose up from a declasse and maligned artform to become the dominant mythology of the modern world, influencing philosophical discourses as much as box office receipts.

Grant Morrison is no stranger to these creatures. Long before he became one of the most acclaimed and popular comics writers of the last two decades, being trusted with the corporate treasures of Batman, Superman...



Previously Reviewed by Rain Taxi
Sort: by date | by title | by author

The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Say You're One of Them by Uwem Akpan

Lost Girls by Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie

The Fortieth Day (American Poets Continuum) by Kazim Ali

Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth by Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos Papadimitriou

Zabime Sisters by Aristophanes

Obabakoak: Stories from a Village by Bernardo Atxaga

Invisible by Paul Auster

War Is Boring: Bored Stiff, Scared to Death in the World's Worst War Zones by David Axe

Pocket Pantheon: Figures of Postwar Philosophy by Alain Badiou

Apocalypse Nerd by Peter Bagge

Picture This by Lynda Barry

The Flowers of Evil (Wesleyan Poetry) by Charles Baudelaire

Gryphon: New and Selected Stories by Charles Baxter

Nocturnal Conspiracies: Nineteen Dreams, from December 1979 to September 1994 by David B.

Black Elvis (Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction) by Geoffrey Becker

Genesis (06 Edition) by Bernard Beckett

My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me by Kate Bernheimer

The Manual of Detection by Jedediah Berry

The Salon by Nick Bertozzi

The Free World by David Bezmozgis

Eunoia by Christian Bok

The Mystery Guest: An Account by Gregoire Bouillier

Big Sex Little Death: A Memoir by Susie Bright

Walking the Dog's Shadow (A. Poulin, Jr. New Poets of America) by Deborah Brown

Urn Burial (New Directions Pearls) by Thomas Browne

Wonderful World by Javier Calvo

American Salvage by Bonnie Jo Campbell

Alec: The Years Have Pants (a Life-Size Omnibus) by Eddie Campbell

Far Arden by Kevin Cannon

The Lagoon by Lilli Carre

Nox by Anne Carson

Juvenilia (Yale Series of Younger Poets #104) by Ken Chen

Azorno by Inger Christensen

Mister Wonderful: A Love Story by Daniel Clowes

Wilson by Daniel Clowes

The Posthuman Dada Guide: Tzara and Lenin Play Chess (Public Square) by Andrei Codrescu

Open City by Teju Cole

Subway Art 25TH Anniversary Edition by Martha Cooper

The Entire Predicament by Lucy Corin

Varieties of Disturbance: Stories by Lydia Davis

Glacial Period: A Graphic Novel by Nicolas De Crecy

The Cult of Pharmacology: How America Became the World's Most Troubled Drug Culture by Richard J. Degrandpre

Arthouse by Jeffrey De Shell

The Losers Vol. 1 & 2 by Andy Diggle

Academic Freedom After September 11 by Beshara Doumani

Eye Mind: The Saga of Roky Erickson and the 13th Floor Elevators, the Pioneers of Psychedelic Sound by Paul Drummond

Netsuke by Rikki Ducornet

See Jack by Russell Edson

It Is Right to Draw Their Fur: Animal Renderings by Dave Eggers

West of Here by Jonathan Evison

Loyalty: The Vexing Virtue by Eric Felten

Museum of Eterna's Novel: The First Good Novel by Macedonio Fernandez

Tumor Signed Edition by Joshua Fialkov

Call Me Ahab: A Short Story Collection (Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction) by Anne Finger

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

The Ticking Is the Bomb: A Memoir by Nick Flynn

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

Well-Built City Trilogy #01: The Physiognomy by Jeffrey Ford

A Mouth in California by Graham Foust

Tiger, Tiger: A Memoir by Margaux Fragoso

8: A Memoir by Amy Fusselman

Sad Stories of the Death of Kings by Barry Gifford

On Tact, and the Made Up World by Michele Glazer

A Village Life by Louise Gluck

Ideas That Matter: The Concepts That Shape the 21st Century by A. C. Grayling

Ding Dong Daddy from Dingburg (Zippy Annual #10) by Bill Griffith

The Collected Poems of Barbara Guest by Barbara Guest

Alan's War: The Memories of G.I. Alan Cope by Emmanuel Guibert

The Dark River: A Novel (Fourth Realm Trilogy #02) by John Twelve Hawks

The Enemy of All: Piracy and the Law of Nations by Daniel Heller-roazen

On Paris (On) by Ernest Hemingway

Little Oceans (The Hollyridge Press Chapbook Series) by Tony Hoagland

My Happiness Bears No Relation to Happiness: A Poet's Life in the Palestinian Century by Adina Hoffman

Brothers by Yu Hua

Shot by Christine Hume

The Shaking Woman or a History of My Nerves by Siri Hustvedt

Death-in-a-Box by Alta Ifland

The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex by Incite Women Of Col

Missing You, Metropolis by Gary Jackson

The Summer Book (New York Review Books Classics) by Tove Jansson

John Peel: Margrave of the Marshes by John Peel and Sheila Ravenscroft

Universe of Things: Short Fiction by Gwyneth Jones

Missing Her (09 Edition) by Claudia Keelan

Comedy in a Minor Key by Hans Keilson

The Book from the Sky by Robert Kelly

The Stone Keeper: Amulet, Book One (Amulet #01) by Kazu Kibuishi

Us by Michael Kimball

Your Republic Is Calling You by Young-ha Kim

The River Gods by Brian Kiteley

Allah Is Not Obliged: A Novel by Ahmadou Kourouma

Sore Throat and Other Poems (10 Edition) by Aaron B. Kunin

Something to Tell You by Hanif Kureishi

On Purpose by Nick Laird

Trial of Flowers by Jay Lake

Black Life by Dorothea Lasky

I Slept with Joey Ramone: A Family Memoir by Mickey Leigh

Happy: A Memoir by Alex Lemon

Shining at the Bottom of the Sea by Stephen Marche

And If You Don't Go Crazy I'll Meet You Here Tomorrow by Filip Marinovich

Fangland: A Novel by John Marks

Firework by Eugene Marten

American Music by Chris Martin

Textura: Valencia Street Art by Luz Martin

Tonoharu: Part One (08 Edition) by Martinson

The Confessions of Edward Day by Valerie Martin

The Blue Tattoo: The Life of Olive Oatman (Women in the West) by Margot Mifflin

Bones of the Tiger: Protecting the Man-Eaters of Nepal by Hemanta Mishra

Brave Story by Miyuki Miyabe

The Scoundrel and the Optimist by Maceo Montoya

Saga of the Swamp Thing: Swamp Thing #01 by Alan Moore

The Novel: An Alternative History by Steven Moore

Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us about Being Human by Grant Morrison

What Moves at the Margin: Selected Nonfiction by Toni Morrison

Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector by Benjamin Moser

Trilogy of Resistance by Antonio Negri

The Reverend's Apprentice by David N. Odhiambo

The Harlem Renaissance Revisited: Politics, Arts, and Letters by Jeffrey O. G. Ogbar

Head in Flames by Lance Olson

Bodies: Big Ideas/Small Books by Susie Orbach

Dictation: A Quartet by Cynthia Ozick

The Uncomfortable Dead: A Novel of Four Hands by Paco Ignacio Taibo II and Subcomandante Marcos

The Animal Part: Human and Other Animals in the Poetic Imagination by Mark Payne

Collected Poems by Mervyn Peake

The Neddiad: How Neddie Took the Train, Went to Hollywood, and Saved Civilization by Daniel Pinkwater

Tales of Woe by John Reed

What's the Use of Truth? by Richard Rorty and Pascal Engel

Lisa Roberton's Magenta Soul Whip by Lisa Robertson

Minè Okubo: Following Her Own Road by Greg Robinson

Determination by Kit Robinson

Death in Spring by Merce Rodoreda

Making Toast by Roger Rosenblatt

C.G. Jung in the Humanities: Taking the Soul's Path by Susan Rowland

The Evolutionary Mind: Conversations on Science, Imagination and Spirit by Rupert Sheldrake and Ralph Abraham and Terence McKenna

Morning Haiku by Sonia Sanchez

Existentialism Is a Humanism by Jean Paul Sartre

All Souls by Christine Schutt

Library of America #203: The American Stage: Writing on Theater from Washington Irving to Tony Kushner by Lawrence (edt) Senelick

Drood by Dan Simmons

Portraits of a Few of the People I've Made Cry by Christine Sneed

The Abyss of Human Illusion by Gilbert Sorrentino

The Book of Things (Lannan Translations Selections) by Ales Steger

Anathem by Neal Stephenson

The Cosmopolitan by Donna Stonecipher

The Word Made Flesh: Literary Tattoos from Bookworms Worldwide by Eva Talmadge

The Ghost Soldiers: Poems by James Tate

Cradle Book: Stories and Fables (American Reader #13) by Craig Morgan Teicher

Laura Warholic: Or the Sexual Intellectual by Alexander Theroux

Siegel and Shuster's Funnyman: The First Jewish Superhero, from the Creators of Superman by Thomas Andrae and Jerry Siegel

Phantom Noise by Brian Turner

Rex Libris by James Turner

Self Portraits: Fictions by Frederic Tuten

Horses Where the Answers Should Have Been: New and Selected Poems by Chase Twichell

The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time by David L. Ulin

Legend of a Suicide: Stories (P.S.) by David Vann

Flowers of Flame: The Unheard Voices of Iraq by Dan Veach

Omega Minor by Paul Verhaeghen

Imperial by William T. Vollmann

The Book of Whispering in the Projection Booth by Joshua Marie Wilkinson

The Butterfly Mosque: A Young American Woman's Journey to Love and Islam by G. Willow Wilson

The Wolverton Bible by Basil Wolverton

A Curious Earth by Gerard Woodward

I Hotel by Karen Tei Yamashita

Regards from Serbia by Aleksandar Zograf

Where I Stay by Andrew Zornoza


Click here to subscribe

Get a year of Rain Taxi for only $15!

Rain Taxi, a winner of the Alternative Press Award for Best Arts & Literature Coverage, is a quarterly publication that publishes reviews of literary fiction, poetry, and nonfiction with an emphasis on works that push the boundaries of language, narrative, and genre. Essays, interviews, and in-depth reviews reflect Rain Taxi's commitment to innovative publishing.

Click here to subscribe to Rain Taxi, ride of choice for the Lit Fiend! . spacer

spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.