Superhero comic books are traditionally thought to have at least two distinct periods, two major waves of creativity: the golden age and the silver age. Reductively stated, the golden age was the birth of the superhero proper out of the pulp novel characters of the early 1930s, and was primarily associated with DC Comics. Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman are the most famous creations of this period. In the early 1960s, Marvel Comics launched a completely new line of heroes, the primary figures of the silver age: the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, the X-Men, the Avengers, Iron Man, and Daredevil.
An analysis of superhero comic books beginning with Frank Miller's 'Batman: The Dark Knight Returns' and Alan Moore's 'Watchmen' drawing on the literary and psychoanalytic theory of Harold Bloom and Slavoj iek, 'How to Read Superhero Comics and Why' argues for the recognition of a new age of superhero comic books. Klock builds through a discussion of 'Marvels', 'Astro City', 'Kingdom Come', Alan Moore's America's Best Comics and Grant Morrison's 'Justice League of America' to argue that 'Planetary', 'The Authority' and 'Wildcats' usher in the future of the superhero narrative: a future that will be what Spiderman and the Fantastic Four were in the early 1960s, and what Superman and Batman were in the late 1930s....Continua