Comic-book superheroes have risen from their newsprint beginnings to dominate films, infiltrate the literary establishment, and become an integral part of popular culture. Secret Identity Reader: Essays on Sex, Death, and the Superhero is a collaboration between two authors who investigate, and often disagree on, key facets of the superhero character and storyline. Masculinity, origin stories and the problem of the side kick are all fair game in this wide-ranging discussion, which also considers the superhero's place in a post-9/11 world and considers why these characters keep dying and coming back to life.
Lee Easton is the head of the English department at Mount Royal University in Alberta. Richard Harrison is the author of both poetry and non-fiction and also teaches English at Mount Royal.
"It is a great relief to read a book as thoughtful, intelligent, well-informed, perceptive, and smart as Lee Easton and Richard Harrison's Secret Identity Reader.... It's a pleasure to see this kind of study done right (the word "properly" just doesn't pack the colloquial wallop it needs)." - Canadian Literature