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This updated and expanded textbook inspires a greater appreciation for literature by studying important literary themes found in comics. By deconstructing comics, it raises critical thinking about literature, a crucial skill for understanding language and composition. Chapters discuss DC, Marvel and other comics' varied attempts at portraying race, politics, economics, business ethics and democracy; responses to the Cold War and the events of September 11; and portrayals of prisons and capital punishment. New to this edition, an additional chapter explores how the deaths of Captain America, Superman and Batman offer insightful commentary on the nature of heroism. Each chapter offers a series of questions that stimulate further reading, writing and discussion. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.