Readers will discover that the earliest superheroes represent fantasies about stopping Hitler, while more sophisticated and socially-oriented publishers used superheroes to encourage American participation in World War II. The book also explores themes such as how the feminist movement and the dramatic shift in women's roles and rights were predicted by Wonder Woman and Sheena nearly 30 years before the dawn of the feminist era.
Icons of the American Comic Book: From Captain America to Wonder Woman contains 100 entries that provide historical background, explore the impact of the comic-book character on American culture, and summarize what is iconic about the subject of the entry. Each entry also lists essential works, suggests further readings, and contains at least one sidebar that provides entertaining and often quirky insight not covered in the main entry. This two-volume work examines fascinating subjects, such as how the superhero concept embodied the essence of American culture in the 1930s; and the ways in which comic book icons have evolved to reflect changing circumstances, values, and attitudes regarding cultural diversity. The book's coverage extends beyond just characters, as it also includes entries devoted to creators, publishers, titles, and even comic book related phenomena that have had enduring significance.
As new crises arise our comic-book champions continue to be called into action. They adapt and evolve but remain the same potent, if flawed, symbols of the American way. The artists in Men of Steel, Women of Wonder, an exhibition organized by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, wrestle with Wonder Woman’s standing as a feminist icon, position Superman as a Soviet-era weapon, and question the immigration status of both characters. Featuring more than seventy artworks that range from loving endorsements to brutal critiques of American culture, this exhibition catalog reveals the enduring presence of these characters and the diverse ways artists employ them.
This paperback edition of Jung's classic work includes a new foreword by Sonu Shamdasani, Philemon Professor of Jung History at University College London.