Andy Walsh’s book Faith Across the Multiverse carries this dedication: “To Ronnie Simon, who introduced me to X-Men comics in the 7th grade and changed my life.” Unlike Andy’s, my life is largely untouched by comics. I knew about comics when I was growing up, but I didn’t read or collect them. I can’t explain why except that I don’t recall seeing them in the stores I was likely to visit as a child. As I grew into into adulthood I probably adopted the attitude that comic books are for children. Andy’s book, and now Armond Boudreaux’s Titans, suggest that attitude might be shortsighted.
Knowing as little as I do about comic books I can’t really review Titans. It is an engaging book, but readers will benefit from a knowledge of superhero stories. Some chapters, especially the chapters on Marvel’s Civil War, are dense with references to characters and their actions. Others focus more on the conflicts that the characters face and the parallels in contemporary America. What is clear in all chapters is that superheroes are complex and often conflicted characters. What’s also clear in Boudreaux’s consideration of these characters is that these complexities and conflicts have parallels in real people in our time.
Even for someone who is comics- and superhero-illiterate, getting to the afterword on page 151 is worth the effort. With its subtitle “Where Do We Go from Here,” and section headings such as “What It Means to Be Reasonable,” it deserves to be read more than once. Karl Popper’s definition of rationalism, presented on page 151, is an important contribution to the discussion.
Titans is published by Wipf and Stock Publishers in Eugene, Oregon under their Cascade Books imprint. Wipf and Stock publishes a diverse list of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and academic titles. I have enjoyed Daniel Taylor’s Death Comes for the Deconstructionist (Slant Books) and Ragan Sutterfield’s Cultivating Reality (Cascade Books) from Wipf and Stock. Cultivating Reality in particular strikes me as a book that mainstream publishers might overlook.
If you dabble in comics, or if you are the first in line when a new Marvel Comics print issue or movie is released, consider reading Titans.
Thanks as always for stopping by.