Cover image for Our gods wear Spandex : the secret history of comic book heroes
Our gods wear Spandex : the secret history of comic book heroes
Knowles, Christopher, 1966-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
San Francisco, Calif. : Weiser Books, 2007.
Physical Description:
xv, 233 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
From the Publisher: 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.
I want to believe -- Part 1: Superheroes, Reborn -- 1: Look, up in the sky -- Invocation -- Decline and fall -- 2: Kingdom come -- Hero as Messiah -- Hollywood's homegrown heroes -- 3: Cult of the superhero -- Part 2: Ancient Mysteries -- 4: Dawn of the Gods -- Sumer and Egypt -- Greece and Rome -- People of the book -- Norse sagas -- 5: Empire of the mind -- Fruits of empire -- Radicals -- Spiritualism -- 6: Secret sects -- Rosicrucians -- Freemasonry -- Other Christs -- 7: Victorian occult explosion -- Coming race: Edward Bulwer-Lytton and Vril -- Madame Blavatsky and Theosophy -- Golden Dawn -- 8: Occult superstars -- Friedrich Nietzsche -- Aleister Crowley -- Harry Houdini -- Edgar Cayce -- Part 3: Pulp Fiction -- 9: Literary luminaries -- Edgar Allan Poe -- Arthur Conan Doyle -- Jules Verne -- H G Wells -- Bram Stoker --10: Pulps -- Hard boiled -- Tarzan -- Gladiators: the Pulp superheroes -- Amazing stories -- Weird tales -- 11: Raconteurs -- Edgar Rice Burroughs -- Sax Rohmer -- H P Lovecraft -- Robert E Howard -- Dion Fortune -- Jack Parsons: rocketman -- Part 4: New Gods -- 12: Famous funnies -- High adventure -- Dirty dealings -- Founding fathers -- 13: Who will save us? -- Magic men -- Mandrake the magician -- Doctor Occult -- 14: Messiahs -- Superman -- Captain Marvel -- Captain Clones -- Super-Horus: Hawkman and the Falcon -- Captain America -- 15: Silver age science heroes -- Pornography of violence -- Seduction -- Code -- Silver age -- Spider-man -- Silver surfer -- 16: Golems -- Batman -- Dark Knight: the god of vengeance -- Bat-clones -- Kirby's rage: the Thing and the Hulk -- Death dealers --17: Amazons -- Wonder Woman -- Others just like her -- Complex Elektra -- 18: Brotherhoods -- Teen teams: the Legion and the Titans -- Fantastic Four --X-Men -- Illuminati -- 19: Wizards redux -- Ibis the invincible -- Doctor Fate -- Doctor Strange -- Constantine -- Mad scientists -- Part 5: Gods And Men -- 20: Visionaries -- Jack Kirby -- Steve Englehart -- Alan Moore -- Neil Gaiman -- Grant Morrison -- Mike Mignola -- Alex Ross -- 21: Dream lab: comics and the future -- 22: Conclusion: Gods within us -- Spirit in the sky -- Bibliography -- Index.
Format :