I came across this on the new book shelf in the library, The Psychology of Superheroes: An Unauthorized Exploration (call number BF637.C5 P83 2008). It caught my eye as something that might make a fun & unique research topic for psychology and other classes.
Publisher description: Unmasking superhuman abilities and double lives, this analysis showcases nearly two dozen psychologists as their essays explore the minds of pop culture’s most intriguing and daring superheroes, including Spider-Man, Batman, Superman, and the X-Men. Exposing the inner thoughts that these reclusive heroes would only dare share with trained professionals, heady experts give detailed psychoanalyses of what makes specific superheroes tick while answering such questions as Why do superheroes choose to be superheroes? Why is there so much prejudice against the X-Men mutants? What makes Spider-Man so altruistic? and Why are supervillains so aggressive? Additionally, the essays tackle why superheroes have such an enduring effect on American culture.