May 06, 2015
It couldn’t quite beat out its predecessor, but The Avengers: Age of Ultron managed to rake in nearly $200 million dollars in its opening weekend, making it the second-highest-grossing film debut of all time according to Box Office Mojo. With Iron Man, Batman (The Dark Night) and Spider-Man also represented in the top 10, there can be little doubt that comics are an integral part of today’s pop culture.
Far from being escapist fluff, however, today’s comics – both in print and onscreen – are nuanced, thought-provoking and (don’t let the snappy dialogue and high-octane action sequences fool you) serious works. Professor and comic enthusiast Douglas Mann traces the origin of these more meaningful comics back to the introduction of Spider-Man in 1962. From there, he argues, the “Silver Age of comics” began, with the medium starting to engage in “ethical, social and political debates within and without the text bubble.”
Mann’s new book, Great Power and Great Responsibility: The Philosophical Politics of Comics, offers an examination of these various debates through several comic franchises, from Sheena to Watchmen to the “rebranded” heroes taking over the big screen. The final chapter also looks at the people behind this comic renaissance – both those who create and those who consume – and why it’s suddenly chic to be a geek.
In honour of this new publication, and The Avengers: Age of Ultron’s nearly 200-million-dollar opening weekend, we’re offering a 20% discount on Great Power and Great Responsibility, or either of our other comics-related publications: The Secret Identity Reader: Essays on Sex, Death and the Superhero by Lee Easton and Richard Harrison, or Hamilton Illustrated by David Collier. Use the code COMICS2015 when you buy these books on our website before May 31.