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Superheroes were born in the United States in the late 1930s as a four-colour rebuttal to the misery of the Depression and the rise of fascism in Europe. Today, superheroes are no longer confined to America, or even the comic book page. From Marvel movies to convention cosplay, superheroes have never enjoyed greater visibility.
As a clinical psychologist who has written books about the psychology of superheroes, I think origin stories show us not how to become super but how to be heros choosing altruism over the pursuit of wealth and power.
New York Times
The Superhero as Society’s Mirror, From World War II to Iraq
The History of Comic Books
A Brief History of Comic Books PDF