Chris Gavaler is an assistant professor of English at Washington and Lee University, where he teaches courses in fiction writing and popular culture, among other subjects. He is the author of two novels, Pretend I’m Not Here (2002) and School for Tricksters: A Novel in Stories (2011). His comics scholarship has appeared in The Journal of American Culture, PS: Political Science & Politics, ImageTexT, Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, and HoodedUtilitarian.com.
Before “Biff! Pow! Bam!”
What we need is a comprehensive examination of the history of popular literature with a view toward cataloging what we might call "proto-superheroes."...