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4.0 out of 5 stars
Man of Steel: Inside the Legendary World of Superman
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
TOP 50 REVIEWERon June 23, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
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. It talks mainly about the interpretation of the characters and stories for the audience that are so used to superhero movies nowadays. There's not much on the actual production shoot and stories behind the scenes.

Those who have watched the film would probably enjoy this book more but that would also depend on what you're expecting.

I recommend flipping through the book before you buy.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified 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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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified 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. (Although, let's face it: if you're a hardcore fan you probably pre-ordered the book long before I ever thought about writing this review.)

It's just a shame that there isn't a proper Art of Man of Steel book in the works, nor a truly in-depth Making of. Because I would happily pay good money for both of those books (preferably the former). The only real hope at this point for those of us who geek out on pre-production artwork is that the Blu-ray release might include so many of the early and unused concepts that this book unfortunately, for the most part, ignores
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 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
on January 20, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified 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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Not terrible but far from a must have art of book. So much could have been added to help show off the sets and locations of the movie. This is really more of a collection of the digital concept art.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This is a solid movie book which sticks VERY close to what you see in the actual movie. Which is good, but also bad.

Marvel has set a new standard for their movie art books just like they have with their superhero movies and unfortunately DC also has some catching up to do in this arena.

The artbook sticks very close to the movie and follows a lot of the art and design that went with that but LACKS in the conceptualizing beyond that or what took place before. The biggest glaring omission is the complete lack of concept design for Superman's suit, probably the one major article that a lot of fans want to see. There is ZERO concept art regarding the Superman suit/symbol/etc. You know it's out there and for some reason, they chose not to include it here. The concept designs that are in the book for the characters (Jor-El, Kryptonian armor, etc.) are already very close to what you already see in the movie. The storyboard and environmental art follows this trend in which most of the artwork seen is a translation of what you see in the film, NOT of the thought process that was going on to visualize everything.

Unfortunately, by sticking so close to final designs and the art of the film AS IS as opposed to the conceptualization, this book falls short on delivering what a lot of fans and aspiring concept artists want to see.

On the plus side, the book does feature some spectacular art and in the text, they do dive into the background and thought process of the film creators. There is a nice spread with some of the Kryptonian chest emblems but it doesn't range much past the House of El and generic Aristocrat #1, #2, etc. You also get to know some of Zod's army which is called "The Sword of Rao" such as Jax-Ur who is a prominent Kryptonian criminal in the comics but is a scrawny, bald scientist in the film.

I really would like to challenge DC on making these books better, whether its Warner Bros. themselves not allowing so much or the book's creators who don't want to dig so deep I don't know, but it is a nice supplement if you're a Superman fan, but don't expect much.

And if you haven't already, I really encourage you to buy one of the Marvel movie artbooks. They are how the superhero movie filmbooks SHOULD be.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon November 8, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Fans of "Man of Steel" should enjoy this book. It primarily focuses on the visual aspects of the film -- director Zack Snyder and his design team really do a great job of creating a unique-looking movie, so it's nice to have a book on the subject.

It's worth noting that around 75% of the book is designated to all things Krypton (even though only 20-30 min of the movie are spent there). To be fair, the Krypton portion of the film is perhaps the most creative and certainly worthy of inclusion here. The book goes in-depth on Krypton environments, technology, costumes, and creatures. Many of the concept art is really great (and printed full-page). Also included are samples of the written language and symbols used on Krypton - it's fascinating to see how much detail went into portraying a realistic civilization.

But this leaves only 25% of the book focused on the rest of the movie and Earth. Overall, the book does leave something to be desired. In particular, I would have liked to have more insight into the design and creation of the Superman costume (it only gets about 2-3 pages).

It's definitely worth buying this book if you can find it for a reasonable price.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Wonderful book. Great price. Love Superman and Henry Cavill. It's a great book, with great cover. I just love it...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Awesome book!!! Great stories and beautiful drawing just reading this put me in the mood to watch Man of Steel!!!
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