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Man of Steel: Inside the Legendary World of Superman Hardcover – June 18, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Daniel Wallace is a comic book expert, sci-fi sage, and lifelong geek. Author or coauthor of more than two dozen books, including "The Jedi Path, The Art of Superman Returns, DC Comics Year by Year, The Marvel Encyclopedia," and the New York Times bestselling "Star Wars: The New Essential Guide to Characters," he has alternately found himself trading tense questions with Kevin Spacey about head-shaving and banging out three thousand trivia questions for Star Wars Trivial Pursuit. Other universes he has worked with include "Smallville, Indiana Jones," and "Supernatural." He lives in Minneapolis.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Insight Editions (June 18, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608871819
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608871810
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 9.5 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #449,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Daniel Wallace is a comic book expert, sci-fi sage, and lifelong geek. Author or co-author of more than two dozen books including The Jedi Path, Man of Steel: Inside the Legendary World of Superman, DC Comics Year by Year, Iron Man Manual, and the New York Times bestselling Star Wars: The New Essential Guide to Characters, his specialty is exploring the underpinnings of popular fictional universes. An avid genre fan, he has also worked as a professional contributor in the realms of Indiana Jones, Smallville, and Supernatural.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Parka TOP 50 REVIEWER on June 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Length: 1:27 Mins
I wasn't very impressed by this Man of Steel art book. It's not bad but it's not that good either.

There aren't many character designs. Strangely, Zod's the only character with art featuring various designs. The rest of the characters, including Superman, are just shown with one or two illustrations or photos. The designs are the finalised ones. There's nothing on Superman's new suit besides the brief mention by director Zack Synder that underwear outside is no longer cool nowadays. The cover does have a nice embossed S with repeating patterns from the fabric of Superman's suit.

The concept art are generally nice but there aren't any mind blowing pieces in particular. There are some beautiful detailed pieces but also pretty rough ones. The overall tone is quite dark with a sense of grim throughout. There's a preference for the strong use of shadows, either to obscure detail or to suggest I'm not too sure, but I feel it's for the former because the detail I want to see usually fades into the shadow.

The art feels quite static. Environment art are meant to be static but I mean those scene paintings with characters. There are many pieces with characters just standing on location. Superman usually stands alone staring into space. Comics usually have their characters in dynamic poses. Not so here. And there aren't any storyboards. You won't get the idea that this is an action film from the art.

There aren't any set photography on the props and locations. Most of the photos included are film stills, mostly portraits, but they look great.

The commentary is quite insightful and focuses on the design and direction of the film.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By the2ndrunner on June 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Has a pretty decent amount of concept art and set design but if you looking for the same kind of awesome you get out of say, Art of Iron Man, you're not gonna find it here. Severely lacks photos of sets, props, and the artwork is just not as good. I got it because I absolutely loved Man of Steel and this book does have some pretty cool info about the production on the movie and the book quality is nice. Just not quite 'super'
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
From my much longer review, originally published on EntertaintmentTell:

Man of Steel: Inside the Legendary World of Superman tries its best to strike a balance between "art of" and "making of," but at a scant 184 pages (and it honestly doesn't even seem that long), it doesn't really have room to be either of those things to a satisfying degree. As a "making of," it does touch on some really interesting points in the text--especially when it comes to the filmmakers' collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense to create an accurate portrayal of the military in the film, as well as many of the thoughts that went into the design of Krypton--and there is a positively fascinating page on the development of the Kryptonian language developed for the film. But much of what is delivered in the book in that regard just leaves me hungry for more. If anything, it's an intriguing tease.

As an "art of," though, the book is an all-around disappointment. There are so many elements of the text that could have been given so much more weight with the right images: the discussion of the design of the S-emblem comes to mind, as well as the design of the suit as a whole. But alas, we don't get a single solitary image of any of the iterations that the S-glyph must have certainly gone through. And any paintings of the Big Blue suit pretty much mirror the final design in the film to a tee.

Perhaps the most frustrating thing about Man of Steel: Inside the Legendary World of Superman, though, is that if you're a fan of the film hungry for a deeper look, the book is kind of essential. Not very satisfying, mind you, but there are several really neat tidbits and insights here that I'll admit make it worth owning. If, and only if, you're a hardcore fan.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Joel Knoll on June 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book because I'm a Superman fan and loved the Man of Steel movie. This book falls pretty far short of what I hoped it would be and of what it could have been. My primary complaint is that it features very little of the concept art regarding the suit and the 'S symbol' (glyph of the House of El). Visually, the book starts to get boring very quickly, with page after page of desaturated Sci-Fi landscapes and cityscapes. Pretty soon they all start looking the same.

When I heard that there were hundreds of concept designs for the S glyph, I got excited, because I find the symbol and its many reinventions over the years to be quite fascinating. I was giddy about this book, hoping it would give us a few pages at least showing the evolution of the S for the movie.

Nothing. Total bummer.

Similarly for the suit. How interesting would it be to see ideas the production team was throwing around for the suit? The underwear, the cape, etc?

Again, almost nothing in this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christopher E. Mason on January 19, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I LOVE SUPERMAN!!!!!!

In Man of Steel, director Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) and producer Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Trilogy) have delivered a stunning new vision of Superman that is both fresh and familiar. Man of Steel: Inside the Legendary World of Superman explores the remarkable creative process behind the movie and showcases the exceptional concept art that shaped its unique visual style. From the stark alien vistas of Krypton to the down-to-earth warmth of Smallville, this book uncovers the intensive world-building process that makes Superman’s universe both thrilling and believable. Also featuring in-depth interviews with the cast and crew, and candid on-set photography, Man of Steel: Inside the Legendary World of Superman is the ultimate insider’s look at one of the most electrifying movies in recent memory.
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