Thursday 4 August 2011

Review: Supergods by Grant Morrison

Today I am going to attempt something I have never done before - review a book I haven't even read. A bit of a tall order? Impossible?

Well, I like a challenge.

How do I think I can successfully do this? Because my partner has just finished reading the book and was so awed by it, he gave me a blow-by-blow account.

I asked him to review it himself for my blog, but he is a very busy man at the moment. So, I'm going to attempt to write down my account of why my partner thinks this is the best book he has read for a long, long time.

The book is Supergods: Our World in the Age of the Superheroby comic writer and chaos magician Grant Morrison.

Publisher Random House says on its website: "Supergods is your opportunity to join one of the great figures of modern comics on a mind-bending journey into the world of the superheroes."

My partner read the book because he is a big fan of comics, and Grant Morrison wrote some of his favourites including Doom Patrol,Justice League of America and The Invisibles. He expected Supergods to be partly a history of comics and partly Grant Morrison's autobiography. What my partner didn't expect it to be was such an eye-opening account of the power of magic when channelled through the imagination into literature, stories and works of art - specifically comics.

The Random House website says: "For Grant Morrison, these [comic book] heroes are not simply characters but powerful archetypes whose ongoing, decades-spanning story arcs reflect and predict the course of human existence: through them, we tell the story of ourselves... Morrison draws on history, art, mythology, and his own astonishing journeys through this alternate universe to provide the first true chronicle of the superhero – why they matter, why they will always be with us, and what they tell us about who we are."

Like most pagans and magicians, I have long believed in the power of myth - that mythological characters such as Odysseus, St George or King Arthur who were perhaps originally the creation of storytellers have, through the power of the imagination, become powerful psychological archetypes. Through constant retelling, these stories have gained power that can be tapped into by ourselves when we want to do achieve great things.

Gods, ancient heroes and modern superheroes truly exist within the realms of the imagination. And we can visit them in our dreams and through magical practices such as pathworking or shamanic journeying.

However, in Supergods: Our World in the Age of the Superhero,Grant Morrison goes further than that. He believes that through reading comics and engaging with the worlds created in them using our own imaginations we can recreate ourselves as we ideally want to be - we can seek out our own inner superhero and use that power for personal change and to achieve our true desires.

Of course, not having actually read the book, maybe I've got it all wrong. Maybe my partner will find time to write a proper review for A Bad Witch's Blog.

In the meantime, if you have read Supergods, what do you think?

Supergods: Our World in the Age of the Superhero can be ordered from Amazon as a hardbackor downloaded as a Kindle edition.

Links and previous related posts


witch said...

this review of supergods looks nice

Anonymous said...

LOVE Grant Morrison and would pretty much reading any of his random scribblings. But this does sound quite interesting. Thanks for the review!