I was reading the October issue of the Journal of Popular Culture (yes, a little behind on my reading), and I stumbled across this gem in a paper about the Omen trilogy.
Jewett and Lawrence have argued that the classical monomyth is not a common pattern in American popular culture. In the United States, mythic consciousness has evolved into a distinct form that highlights redemption rather than initiation. It dramatizes the Judeo-Christian redemption discourse that emerged early in American culture to produce a narrative in which "[a] community in a harmonious paradise is threatened by evil: normal institutions fail to contend with this threat: a selfless superhero emerges to renounce temptations and carry out the redemptive task: aided by fate, his decisive victory restores the community to its paradisal condition: the superhero then recedes into obscurity" (Jewett and Lawrence, American Monomyth xx). In this mythic narrative, helpless communities are redeemed by a Christ figure who is never integrated into the community, but leaves at the end, remaining a perpetual outsider. He or she has an unchanging moral perfection and a strong capability for action while the community is changeable and must be saved through the violent action of the hero.
The author is Neil Gerlach, and the paper is "Antichrist as Anti-Monomyth." As you might imagine, this paragraph has grabbed my interest. I'm deeply interested in the ways these various monomyths might be useful to writers. So I hopped onto my university's library site and ran a quick search, and from this preliminary scan, it seems Jewett and Lawrence were primarily concerned with comic book narratives and characters, though they did apply some of these concepts to news stories about modern warfare.
Before I pursue this line of inquiry further, I thought I would ask if any of you have looked at this American monomyth, and if so, did you find it useful?