This article is a review of the book “The Evolution of the Costumed Avenger” By Jess Nevins.
After the introduction an excerpt from the book is presented, this excerpt begins the exploratory process of this text by challenging all ‘definitions’ of superheroes. A bit dry for what most people would think of as a ‘fun’ read but this certainly does set up the tone and premise of the book.
A quote from the author Nevins is: “A lot of previously ignored or overlooked characters become fair game when we talk about the lineage of the superhero. I think redrawing the boundaries is important, because now we can see that the superhero wasn’t a 20th-century invention, but rather the weaving together of many different heroic traditions that date back centuries or even millennia, and the recapitulation of a wide range of historical character types.”
This is a fascinating analysis of superheroes and the historical characters that influenced, consciously or subconsciously, their creation. If you like DC, Marvel, etc, and/or history, myths, legends, etc. then this will probably be a fascinating read. Some day when I am feeling more philosophical I will have to go over this text and find out where some of my favorite heroes come from.