As anyone who has attained the coveted PhD knows, superpowers often don't pay the rent. This volume, edited by Marc DiPaolo, provocatively explores the ways in which comic books interrogate the enduring salience of class. Sometimes such matters are foregrounded, as when “Harvey Pekar Meets the Thing.” A disgruntled Ben Grimm asks his old Hebrew school chum to get him a job at the Cleveland VA, as he is drowning in debt, facing downsizing from the Fantastic Four (13). But DiPaolo argues, “[C]ontemplating the pain suffered by comic book characters can be a useful exercise in cultivating greater empathy for real-world working-class heroes” (21). And if even Spiderman has trouble cobbling together a living wage, what chance do the rest of us have? DiPaolo and other contributors offer graphic examples of super-working-class antiheroes who expose neoliberalism's hell.

DiPaolo offers “The Thing,” Ben Grimm, working class and monstrous, heroic in spite...

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