Cape swoops for superhero

Jonathan Cape editor Alex Bowler has over-powered rival publishers to buy a book on superheroes by Scottish ­comics "legend" Grant Morrison. Bowler bought EU, UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) to Supergods: Our World in the Age of the Superhero from Caspian Dennis at Abner Stein on behalf of Peter McGuigan at Foundry.

Bowler described Supergods as "the definitive history of the superhero", from the invention of Superman in 1938, through to the movie versions of "Watchmen" and "Wolverine".

Morrison has been a comics writer for more than 20 years, writing superhero stories for DC Comics and Marvel, and creating the adult comic book series The Invisibles and follow-up The Filth. His comics sold in the region of three million copies in the US alone last year, said Cape, as well as 200,000 copies of his collections and graphic novels. Bowler said that Morrison was "a comics legend and the one person you would want to write this book," calling him "the ultimate comic-book insider, [with] an irrepressible pop-culture mind, and a consummate raconteur."

He also promised Supergods would be a book "like no other", adding: "Our world and the world of the superhero are going to be fed into the brilliant blender of Grant's brain, so expect philosophy, anthropology, Buddhism, mad ­science, capes and punk rock."

Supergods will be published in August 2010.

The US deal has just been confirmed: Supergods will be published by Christopher Jackson at Spiegel & Grau (Doubleday).