Superman and the Bible

How the Idea of Superheroes Affects the Reading of Scripture

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About the Book

In 1938, Superman debuted, jumping off the pages of Action Comics #1. In the cultural context of the Great Depression and World War II, the U.S. would see the rise of the superhero not only in comic books but in radio programs, animated cartoons and television shows. Superman forever changed one’s concept of the hero and became permanently engrained in both American and worldwide culture.
This study explores the Man of Steel’s narrative as a fresh perspective on readings of the Bible—his character is reflected in such figures as Moses, Samson and Jesus. The author argues that if we read the Bible it can be said we are reading about Superman.

About the Author(s)

Nicholaus Pumphrey is an assistant professor of religious studies and curator of the Quayle Bible Collection at Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas. He has published articles on comic books and religion, and Muslim comic book characters.

Bibliographic Details

Nicholaus Pumphrey
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 214
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6502-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3388-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Preface 1

Introduction 5

1. Reading Is Fundamental: Intertextuality and the Comic Canon 21

2. Creation of Superman 51

3. What Is a Hero? 70

4. The Deconstruction of Superman: Redefining a Genre 90

5. The Book of Judges and Superman 119

6. Superman as Messiah: Moses and Jesus 140

Conclusion 170

Chapter Notes 175

Bibliography 193

Index 199