I finally finished Grant Morrison’s Supergods before Christmas, an autobiographical retrospective of superhero comics, laced with reality-bending theories and Morrison’s Pop Magic. It was an interesting book for a number of reasons. I got into comics quite late, so I wasn’t aware of much of the history of superhero comics. In fact the decades-long backstories, retcons, reboots and rivalries were what pushed me away from the genre even more than the ridiculousness of boy-gods in tights using their epic powers to beat up muggers or each other. Supergods managed to show the progress and development of the characters in a compelling way that opened them up as part of a richer world. It also showed me that at the time when I started reading that genre of comic books was when they were creatively at one of their lowest points. Morrison’s interweaving of his own journey and epiphanies wasn’t quite seamless, but it worked well enough and was interesting. In fact some of the ideas and concepts in Supergods directly to write Parallel Words, which was published by Bleeding Cool.
I think Supergods will age quite quickly, the medium of comics and genre of superheroics will move on and many of the pop culture references will date fairly rapidly. Even Grant Morrison will have moved on, going through another re-imagining of himself, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all and may even be part of the point he’s trying to make.