Magazine December 18, 2017, Issue

Clashing Universes

Marvel Comics co-creator Stan Lee attends a tribute event “Extraordinary: Stan Lee” at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills, CA., August 22, 2017. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)
Slugfest: Inside the Epic 50-Year Battle between Marvel and DC, by Reed Tucker (Da Capo, 304 pp., $27)

No matter how cynical any civilization becomes, its people will always need heroes. If the gods and demigods of the ancient world gave way to the saints and martyrs of the medieval world, the saints and martyrs of the medieval world gave way to the comic-book masked vigilantes, aliens, and mutants of the modern world. What will the postmoderns do? (Try to deconstruct the moderns, of course, and leave us with only our hopelessness.)

Like it or not, over the past 40 years comic-book characters have come to dominate the popular culture of America. Once thriving only on drugstore magazine racks

To Read the Full Story
Bradley J. Birzer holds the Russell Amos Kirk Chair in American Studies at Hillsdale College, where he is a professor of history. He is the author of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Sanctifying Myth (2002) and The Inklings: Tolkien and the Men of the West (forthcoming).

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Rise to Global Power

Robert Merry sets out to revive William McKinley’s middling reputation by recognizing the 25th president as the shrewd, unheralded father of the military-commercial expansionism that underwrote America’s global ...




What Does NAFTA Do? Kevin D. Williamson’s fulsome praise of NAFTA (“What NAFTA Does,” November 13) notwithstanding, the primary goal of NAFTA is to provide American manufacturers with unfettered access to ...
The Week

The Week

‐ “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and, doggone it, women want me to feel them up while they’re sleeping on airplanes.” ‐ Roy Moore, Republican candidate in a special election ...


THE ‘F’ WORD My mother would withhold from me most news, Because my constant questions — like a plague Of locusts — flew at her, till she would lose Her patience, as I lost ...
Happy Warrior

The Bed Menace

‘Opinion: If you let boys be boys, they will murder their fathers and sleep with their mothers,” ran a tweet from the New York Times the other day.


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