Our Gods Wear Spandex : The Secret History of Comic Book Heroes
Overview - From occult underground to superhero Was Superman's arch nemesis Lex Luthor based on Aleister Crowley? Can Captain Marvel be linked to the Sun gods on antiquity? In Our Gods Wear Spandex, Christopher Knowles answers these questions and brings to light many other intriguing links between superheroes and the enchanted world of estoerica. Read more...
More About Our Gods Wear Spandex by Chris Knowles; Joseph Michael Linsner
From occult underground to superhero Was Superman's arch nemesis Lex Luthor based on Aleister Crowley? Can Captain Marvel be linked to the Sun gods on antiquity? In Our Gods Wear Spandex, Christopher Knowles answers these questions and brings to light many other intriguing links between superheroes and the enchanted world of estoerica. Occult students and comic-book fans alike will discover countless fascinating connections, from little known facts such as that DC Comics editor Julius Schwartz started his career as H.P. Lovecraft's agent, to the tantalizingly extensive influence of Madame Blavatsky's Theosophy on the birth of comics, to the mystic roots of Superman. The book also traces the rise of the comic superheroes and how they relate to several cultural trends in the late 19th century, specifically the occult explosion in Western Europe and America. Knowles reveals the four basic superhero archetypes--the Messiah, the Golem, the Amazon, and the Brotherhood--and shows how the occult Bohemian underground of the early 20th century provided the inspiration for the modern comic book hero. With the popularity of occult comics writers like Invisibles creator Grant Morrison and V for Vendetta creator Alan Moore, the vast ComiCon audience is poised for someone to seriously introduce them to the esoteric mysteries. Chris Knowles is doing just that in this epic book. Chapters include: Ancient of Days, Ascended Masters, God and Gangsters, Mad Scientists and Modern Sorcerers, and many more. From the ghettos of Prague to the halls of Valhalla to the Fortress of Solitude and the aisles of BEA and ComiCon, this is the first book to show the inextricable link between superheroes and the enchanted world of esoterica.
- ISBN-13: 9781578634064
- ISBN-10: 1578634067
- Publisher: Weiser Books
- Publish Date: November 2007
- Page Count: 233
Books > Comics & Graphic Novels > General
A cross-section of comics
For a more theoretical take on comic books, try Our Gods Wear Spandex by Christopher Knowles with illustrations by Joseph Michael Linsner. Subtitled "The Secret History of Comic Book Heroes," it advances the theory that modern-day super-heroes fulfill the function that religion has served throughout history. It's not a hard case to make, and Knowles does it convincingly, even if his survey of early human history is a tad rushed (he fits it all into the first third of a 256-page book). Things really get going when he starts discussing pulp novels and the direct links between them and modern-day comic books. Writers like Poe, Doyle and Verne, he says, together provided "a fictional backdrop for the superheroes of the 'pulps.'" From there, it was only a short leap to comics. The best parts of the book are Knowles' personality sketches of some of the genre's founderswithout whom none of the books here would ever have existed.