Superheroes! The History of a Pop-Culture Phenomenon from Ant-Man to Zorro

Applause Bks. May 2023. 352p. ISBN 9781493064519. pap. $26.95. POP CULTURE
In a world seemingly oversaturated with works about superheroes, this book stands apart from the rest, buoyed by its broad yet comprehensive take on these titans of pop culture. Solomon (Blood and Fire: The Unbelievable Real-Life Story of Wrestling’s Original Sheik) offers readers a history of superheroes and their evolution from page to screen. This book deftly works “proto superheroes,” such as Beowulf and Sherlock Holmes, into the superhero origin story, along with an apt definition of just what makes a superhero. Solomon writes interesting spotlights on influential characters and covers important superheroes from around the world, rather than just the most familiar American creations from DC and Marvel. He also discusses superheroes beyond comic books and movies, including radio serials and TV series, but new ground is rarely covered. The book is boosted by colorful art and pictures chronicling the superhero journey, a thorough index, and a reading level that makes this an informative and enjoyable read for teens and adults.
VERDICT Solomon presents the information in such an enjoyable and digestible way that he delivers a worthwhile reference title.
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