Time Essay: THE COMICS ON THE COUCH

HE was someone you could always count on, the savior of the helpless and oppressed, society's sword against the forces of evil and injustice. He could, among other things, "hurdle skyscrapers, leap an eighth of a mile, run faster than a streamline train—and nothing less than a bursting shell could penetrate his skin." He was, in short, a good buy for a dime. Even by today's hyped-up standards, Superman was quite a guy.

Yes, was. The man of steel that many Americans grew up with is not what he used to be. For one...

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