In the June 2nd, 2013 issue of the New York Times Book Review, there is an interview with Walter Mosley, author of the Easy Rawlins novels (among many other things). When asked what his favorite books were as a child, he responded, in part, "the truth is that the most beloved and the most formative books of my childhood were comic books, specifically Marvel Comics . . . These combinations of art and writing presented to me the complexities of character and the pure joy of imagining adventure. They taught me about writing dialect and how a monster can also be a hero. They lauded science and fostered the understanding that the world was more complex than any one mind, or indeed the history of all human minds, could comprehend."
In the last few years, comics and the heroes that sprang out of them have become a ubiquitous part of the pop culture landscape. This is a process that has tended to homogenize powerful and subversive ideas to make them more palatable to mass market tastes. It's nice to hear somebody talk about their deeper consequence and the way they have (and still can) resonate on many intellectual and emotional levels.