Television: Super, Human Strength

In an unconventional kind of wartime, will audiences warm to unconventional superheroes?

In Michael Chabon's pulitzer prizewinning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Josef Kavalier flees fascism in Europe for America, where he creates the Escapist, a comic-book hero based on the Golem of Prague, the clay giant and protector of ancient Jewish legend. Mythic defenders, Chabon shows, have long been with us. But it took America to make them into superheroes: big, magical men (and sometimes women) who protect us and embody our national character.

We have even drafted them into war, as when Captain America famously punched out Hitler. And as TV horned in on the comics audience, its...

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