Many superheroes of the comic book industry were, of course, created by Jews. This investigates, with great wit and clever argument the Jewish creators and their offspring - they are aliens in a foreign land (Superman); they are plagued by guilt for not having saved their families (Spiderman); outsiders persecuted for being different (X-Men); nice, smart people afraid no-one will like them when they are angry (The Hulk).
In Superman Is Jewish? Harry Brod reveals the links between Jews and superheroes in a penetrating investigation of iconic comic book figures. He describes how the role of each hero reflects the evolution of the Jewish place in American culture-an alien in a foreign land, like Superman; a figure plagued by guilt for not having saved his family, like Spider-Man; outsiders persecuted for being different (X-Men); a nice, smart guy afraid people won't like him when he's angry (the Hulk). Brod blends humor and sharp observation as he considers these well-known figures' overtly and discreetly Jewish characteristics and talks about how their creators-including Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, Stan Lee, and Jack Kirby-integrated their Jewish identities and their creativity. His lively guided tour takes us from the Passover Haggadah's exciting action scenes of Moses's superpowers to acclaimed Pulitzer Prize winners and overseas animators. Brod has written and lectured extensively on this fun and provocative topic and through his expertise explores the deeper story of how one immigrant group can influence the larger culture through entertainment and, in the process, see itself in new, more empowering ways.