For those of you writing on heroes and superheroes in comics, Christopher Knowles Our Gods Wear Spandex: the Secret History of Comic Book Heroes is indispensable. More than presenting comics heroes in a line with historical antecedents, the book gives large prominence to gnosticism, theosophy, occult groups and the entire magical impedementia of the Victorians as direct influences. Both Crowley and Gaimon are featured in a way that will be familiar to you from lecture, with some additional information and perspective.
I now have a copy of my own for anyone who wishes to a borrow be. [Image courtesy comicbox.com]
Was Superman's arch nemesis Lex Luthor based on Aleister Crowley? Can Captain Marvel be linked to the Sun gods on antiquity? In Our Gods Wear Spandex, Christopher Knowles answers these questions and brings to light many other intriguing links between superheroes and the enchanted world of estoerica. Occult students and comic-book fans alike will discover countless fascinating connections, from little known facts such as that DC Comics editor Julius Schwartz started his career as H.P. Lovecraft's agent, to the tantalizingly extensive influence of Madame Blavatsky's Theosophy on the birth of comics, to the mystic roots of Superman. The book also traces the rise of the comic superheroes and how they relate to several cultural trends in the late 19th century, specifically the occult explosion in Western Europe and America. Knowles reveals the four basic superhero archetypes--the Messiah, the Golem, the Amazon, and the Brotherhood--and shows how the occult Bohemian underground of the early 20th century provided the inspiration for the modern comic book hero.