Glen Weldon Glen Weldon is a regular panelist on NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast. He also reviews books and movies for NPR.org and is a contributor to NPR's pop culture blog Monkey See, where he posts weekly about comics and comics culture.

Michael Chabon is the author of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and The Yiddish Policemen's Union. Ulf Andersen/Getty Images hide caption

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Ulf Andersen/Getty Images

Emotional Armor: Superheroes like Batman (Christian Bale) function as talismans when our fears are darkest — symbols of good, and of justice, when we wonder whether either exists. Ron Phillips/Warner Bros. Pictures hide caption

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Ron Phillips/Warner Bros. Pictures