Dis­guised as Clark Kent: Jews, Comics, and the Cre­ation of the Superhero

Dan­ny Fin­geroth; Stan Lee, fwd.

  • Review
By – February 27, 2012

Why is it that so many of the great comics super­heroes were cre­at­ed by Jews? What’s so Jew­ish about super­heroes anyway?

Fingeroth’s book is an easy, intrigu­ing read, explor­ing the his­to­ries of super­heroes and their cre­ators. This is clear­ly a top­ic in which Fin­geroth is emi­nent­ly well-versed; the only thing hold­ing him back from doc­u­ment­ing the top­ic sat­is­fac­to­ri­ly is, unfor­tu­nate­ly, his the­sis. Fin­geroth sets out to prove that the themes embod­ied by his super­heroes are a direct reflec­tion of their cre­ators’ Jew­ish her­itage, whether con­scious or uncon­scious. This is an impos­si­ble the­o­ry to prove, and occa­sion­al­ly dis­tracts the author, caus­ing him to mys­te­ri­ous­ly allude to events that he nev­er ful­ly tells us about. Fingeroth’s strongest moments are when he for­gets about his the­sis and gets lost in the art and his­to­ry of his beloved medi­um. The read is well worth it for those moments. Index, notes, select bibliography.

Noah Beit-Aharon lives in Waltham, MA, and is a mem­ber of Tem­ple Beth Israel in Waltham. The first two install­ments of his Jew­ish-inspired epic fan­ta­sy series God­serfs, pub­lished under the pen name N. S. Dolka­rt, are avail­able in paper­back from Angry Robot Books.

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