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It's Superman!: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – January 25, 2011


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (January 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345496752
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345496751
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #904,864 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Scott Brick gives a super performance in his reading of this revisionist telling of the Superman legend. Set in the 1930s, De Haven's Superman is not the stalwart do-gooder of the comics. He's just a simple, decent guy, with all the faults and doubts of any young man coming of age during the Great Depression. It just so happens he can leap buildings in a single bound, bend steel with his bare hands..., etc. His journey from Smallville to Hollywood then New York City, where he meets Lois Lane, and his arch nemesis Lex Luthor makes for a rich, multilayered novel. From Brick's enthusiastic reading of the book's title, which is reminiscent of the old Saturday morning serials, it is clear that he fully embraces this material. Brick smoothly handles the novel's descriptive passages, loaded with historical and pop culture references to create an authentic sense of time and place. His characterizations are spot on, whether it's the arrogant smugness of Luthor, the shy, polite stammering of farm boy Kent or the plucky assertiveness of Lois Lane, Brick shines throughout. This is an audiobook not to be missed. Ballantine paperback (Reviews, Sept. 26, 2005). (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Bookmarks Magazine

If you enjoyed De Haven’s Derby Dugan trilogy or have fond memories of (or a continued obsession with) the Man of Steel, you’ll like It’s Superman!, a re-creation of Superman’s early life before 1938, when he first started to appear in comic strips and, later, books, radio and television shows, and movies. De Haven, who teaches creative writing at Virginia Commonwealth University, has added a sophisticated, well-rounded, and compelling addition to the Superman genre. In particular, he has an eye for authentic setting and character. Some parts "could be Steinbeck meets Smallville," notes The Palm Beach Post. The verdict: proof that Superman’s appeal has withstood the test of time.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

I really loved this different take on the Superman mythos.
Mr. Jared C. Serra
Strip away the "perfect," noble figure and show the true Kal-el: someone born with great power who gradually assumes responsibility for humanity.
William Hermann
As a fan of both Superman, and detective stories I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Bryan Combs

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By William Hermann on March 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is what a Superman story should be. Strip away the "perfect," noble figure and show the true Kal-el: someone born with great power who gradually assumes responsibility for humanity. The greatest contribution to this story is placing Supes back in the era from whence he came. The 1930s were tumultuous, fear ridden, and filled with people looking for a savior. Is it any wonder Superman came about in that time.

If you like this, then you'll love "Proxies of Fate," another novel about superheroes in the 1930s.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By the overmouth on May 10, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I'd honestly give this three and a half stars. It's better than your avergae book for sure, and De Haven does an incredible job reimagining the titular hero. He also is a whiz with sentences and historical details. My issues with the book though are that it has a rather lackluster plot and Clark Kent or Superman is not in the book as much as some secondary characters are which I think detracts from the entertainment value. In addition, De Haven handles so many things so well, except the first appearance of Superman comes off as really goofy, so that was disappointing. A hard feat to pull off, costume and all, but he almost wrote an incredible book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Powell on January 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
Superhero origins are told and re-told countless times, evolving to fit different eras, ideals, and various target audiences. Unlike the constant revision and re-imagining that heroes go through throughout the decades, this book returned to Superman's true origins in the 1930s.

Instead of meeting Clark as a young adult preparing to try and make it in Metropolis (with a quick montage scene, a few flashbacks and anxious recollections to provide the foundation for the future Man of Steel, Tom De Haven created an entire universe in which we would meet Clark and see him evolve from a simple country boy into the famous Son of Krypton.

Clark's journey to Metropolis (New York City in this universe, something that hearkens back to the real-world inspiration for the comic book city) takes several years. We see events across the nation that will eventually affect Clark and push him to deciding to use his powers to try and help his fellow humans (as he views himself).

This book felt very real and created a world where Lex Luthor's actions are truly taken seriously, where the characters are real, and the events and devices in the book are ones you could image in the real world. Rather than using the brush of suspended disbelief throughout, De Haven created a world where the events could have evolved in our own world. The Superman at the end of the book is not the invincible figure so well established in our understanding. Instead, he is a young man who has taken on a huge burden and is determined to measure up to it, leaving room for future development as he comes into his own and officially becomes the Last Son of Krypton.

I loved this book. Its 1930's feel combined with the complex (but not overwhelming) plot made this a book I couldn't put down.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David Eck on December 19, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Let me say first off, I am not a big Superman fan. I've seen the movies, may have seen an episode or two of "Lois and Clark," but do not watch "Smallville" or read the comics.

That being said, I did enjoy this book. Even those with a rudimentary knowledge of Superman's origins should find this book enjoyable. We know about Superman's early life, but this book fills in the missing years just prior to Clark Kent leaving Smallville and then arriving in Metropolis. We also learn the origins of Lois Lane and Lex Luthor's characters.

This is a breezy read and a lot of fun. True fans might be disappointed, but hey, it's just a book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By bc on January 12, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
4.5 Stars. Placed in the same time period as that of the development of the original Superman mythos, De Haven creates a delightfully entertaining glimpse into one of the lesser explored periods of Superman's life. That is, his transition from Clark Kent - Farmboy to Clark Kent - Superman. Of course this period was explored in detail in the recent TV series, "Smallville", however the time frame for that show was decidedly 21st century. While it took me a while to get used to the "present tense" style of storytelling of the book, nobody "said this" or "said that" rather it's all he/she "says this" and "says that"), once I got used to that it only contributed to the 30's feel of the piece and was a fun easy read. While some may disagree with De Haven's choice to portray Clark Kent's early forays into his Superman persona as a bit, shall we say, awkward, I found it more real than the comic book mythos. In that tradition, Superman pretty much magically appears on the scene in a fully incarnate Superboy form. I don't know about you, but I certainly spent a few years as a pretty awkward, "uncomfortable in my own skin" teenager. And that was without the added stress of being... well... Super! To me De Haven does a wonderfully entertaining job of setting a vivid back drop of 1930's America over which he paints well thought out characters and tells a pretty entertaining story. I would think that both fans of Superman and people who just like a plain old good story should find this book equally enjoyable.
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