This book examines the history of the British superhero. It shows that the British subversion of the superhero genre goes back to the 1930s, even as the best-known and most often cited examples of this appeared in the early to mid-1980s, when British writers and artists exerted a significant influence on American superhero comics, forming the first wave of the so-called British Invasion. The book also explores the relationship between British and American comics and the treatment of the superhero in Britain, as well as the various precursors to the superhero in British popular culture. It suggests that the British superhero is a parody of a parody, or at least, often parodies or reinscribes a genre and characters that are themselves decipherable as parody or reinscriptions of previous models. This introduction explains what a superhero is and highlights the key differences between American and British comics.
Keywords: comics, British superhero, America, British Invasion, popular culture, parody