Superhero Thought Experiments (Paperback)

Comic Book Philosophy

By Chris Gavaler, Nathaniel Goldberg

University Of Iowa Press, 9781609386559, 224pp.

Publication Date: September 15, 2019

List Price: 22.50*
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Examining the deep philosophical topics addressed in superhero comics, authors Gavaler and Goldberg read plot lines for the complex thought experiments they contain and analyze their implications as if the comic authors were philosophers. Reading superhero comic books through a philosophical lens reveals how they experiment with complex issues of morality, metaphysics, meaning, and medium. Given comics’ ubiquity and influence directly on (especially young) readers—and indirectly on consumers of superhero movies and video games—understanding these deeper meanings is in many ways essential to understanding contemporary popular culture. The result is an entertaining and enlightening look at superhero dilemmas.

About the Author

Chris Gavaler is associate professor of English at Washington and Lee University. He is author of On the Origin of Superheroes: From
the Big Bang to Action Comics No. 1
and comics editor of Shenandoah.

Nathaniel Goldberg is professor of philosophy at Washington and Lee University. He is author of Kantian Conceptual Geography.