The High-Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero
Superman: The High-Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero. Random. Jun. 2012. c.432p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781400068661. $27. SOC SCI
OrangeReviewStarTye (Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend) presents the definitive history of Superman. Though much has been written about the Man of Steel, no book has dealt with so many aspects of the character through time. This is a compelling history of how Superman's nerdy teenage creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, made the character the figure we know, how Action Comics brought him to life, and how Superman ultimately became a comic book, radio, television, film, and merchandising juggernaut. Readers learn Superman's religious affiliation and see how his attributes, plot lines, and enemies have morphed to suit each era in which he has existed. Tye also discusses how those associated with Superman suffered misfortune with uncanny regularity under the "Superman Curse." Ultimately, readers gain an understanding of how the character was brought to life and how numerous individuals and organizations have shaped his fate over the decades.
VERDICT Tye is an excellent storyteller, and this work is thoroughly researched. The result is a rich history full of lively heroes and villains—much like a comic book. Essential for Superman fans and popular culture historians.
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