Item description for Comic Book Character: Unleashing The Hero In Us All by David Zimmerman...
Overview Astute cultural critic and self-avowed comic book fanboy David A. Zimmerman turns a thoughtful eye to the world of costumed heroes and villains, showing how these iconic tales of good verses evil tap into universal human yearning for justice and righteousness. Exploring the complex personas of characters like Superman and Batman, Spider-Man and the X-Men, Zimmerman unveils their cultural significance as models of moral character, virtue and heroism. Ultimately, placing comic book stories in dialogue with the Christian story sheds light on who we are, what we value and how we live. This book calls true believers everywhere to integrity, mission and transformation. Come discover what it means to be a hero!
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Studio: InterVarsity Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.6" Weight: 0.35 lbs.
Release Date Dec 31, 2004
Publisher IVP-InterVarsity Press
ISBN 0830832602 ISBN13 9780830832606
Availability 0 units.
More About David Zimmerman
David A. Zimmerman is associate professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
David A. Zimmerman currently resides in the state of Illinois. David A. Zimmerman was born in 1964.
Reviews - What do customers think about Comic Book Character: Unleashing The Hero In Us All?
A Comic Book Catechism May 14, 2006
_I have long seen comic books, at least superhero comic books, as more than mere entertainment. I share this view with the author. Indeed, we both seem to see the world as fallen- and in need of the inspiration that comic books, at their best, can provide. This book is a well-reasoned look at the legitimacy of the comic book as moral teaching aid in everything from social justice to the metaphysical nature of good versus evil. It is written in an enjoyable, informal, non-academic style (it is documented with footnotes, but mercifully they are included at the back where you can ignore them if you choose.)
_My only real complaint is that there are so many examples that could have been included but were not. For instance, the Spectre, who as the embodiment of the Wrath of God is the most theologically and metaphysically relevant of characters, is only mentioned a single time in a single sentence. The same goes with the complex Sandman mythos- mentioned a single time in a single sentence. Such potentially fascinating characters as Hellstorm (son of the Adversary) or Grimjack (walked out of heaven to help his friends) are totally ignored. Even the original Captain Marvel (part man and part God - with the wisdom of Solomon) is likewise ignored. Yet, I suppose that there are only so many examples that can be fit into a book of this size.
_Still, the examples that are given are well explored (especially Superman, Captain America, and the Green Lantern/Green Arrow partnership.) A prime specific example would be Green Lantern's eventual understanding that law and order (accidentals) are less important than truth and justice (essentials.) I could easily see this book becoming the starting point for any number of discussions on what constitutes a true hero and heroism. Indeed, I found myself wanting to argue on numerous points...
_As for this being strictly a Christian perspective, it truly seems to me that the core concepts of Truth, Justice, and Good- as well as the heroic archetypes that embody them- could be held to be more essentially Platonic in nature. But that would be another discussion.
Very insightful Dec 12, 2005
It's nice to see books like this for the Christian comic geek. There are so many books out there like "how to be a superhero", etc. that spoof the pop-culture, but these types of books make something of that culture. Something good.
Every generation has their problems, and likewise, every generation needs heroes. Too few people are willing to go the distance in their walk with God, so as to become a true speedster of the light.
I'm glad for books like this, and I'm sure any new readers will be too.
Also check out "Who Needs a Superhero?" That one was life changing for me.
Wannabe a hero.....you just might be one Mar 19, 2005
This book was an eye opener for me in some respects. I used to collect comic books some years ago. I do enjoy the superhero movies of past and present. I am also a person of faith. This book broke down some of the misconceptions about Comic Books. It also placed a frame around a good discussion......Why do we need heros? But most of all for me it made me realize I had some things to be thankful for, just by looking at my life from a different viewpoint.
POW-ZAPPING Kudos to the author!
Super Hero's as a Moral Center? Mar 2, 2005
Zimmerman does a adaquate job of finding a spiritual center for many of the characters well known in the comic book universe. Though some of his observations may seem like marginal "philosophical stretches", he excels in showing how the dilema's facing the Super Hero in comics, can be very metaphorical to our world today. Could be a very powerful outreach for teen youth programs, to incite conversation and thought from a genre that they are genuinely interested in.
Robert James Luedke, (Author...Eye Witness: A Fictional Tale of Absolute Truth)
Superhero Theology... Dec 27, 2004
Zimmerman's book is both an entertaining and educational read. He is an unapologetic comic book geek with an obvious passion about his subject. The brilliant thing about this book is that it is not really about comic book superheroes, it is about reality (ironic) and what makes life worth living. Zimmerman is at his best when he uses the world of comic book heroes to ask questions of ultimate meaning about life in our own world. The book does not give many straightforward answers to life's questions, but it does help us to know if we are looking in the right direction, namely toward the God of the Bible. I found the combination of historical insight, cultural analysis, theological reflection and general wittines to be thoroughly engaging. This book will probably be read most by fans of comics, but that is a shame because it speaks to us all.