Although he is largely overlooked today, in the 1940s comic books starring Captain Marvel outsold even those of Superman. Book designer (and memorabilia collector) Kidd has assembled rare merchandise and promotional items issued during the character�s heyday. The oversize pages sport lovingly photographed toys, figurines, clothing, secret decoders, temporary tattoos, and other rare collectibles featuring the �World�s Mightiest Mortal� and such spin-off characters as Captain Marvel Jr. and Mary Marvel. Unfortunately, those unfamiliar with Captain Marvel will get little hint of just why his exploits were so popular: although Kidd includes a sampling of the comic�s covers and panels, only one complete story is reprinted, and it�s an atypical one drawn by celebrated superhero artists Jack Kirby and Joe Simon instead of premier Captain Marvel illustrator C. C. Beck. After a decade-long copyright-infringement suit by Superman�s publishers, the captain�s comic was discontinued in 1952. DC has since updated the character for modern readers, and his younger fans will likely be bemused by this testimony to his bygone popularity. --Gordon Flagg
About the Author
Chip Kidd is an award-winning graphic designer and writer, and an editor-at-large for Pantheon Books. His books on comics include Bat-Manga!, Peanuts: The Art of Charles M. Schulz, and Mythology: The DC Comics Art of Alex Ross. He lives in New York City.
Geoff Spear is an award-winning photographer whose work has appeared on numerous book covers. He lives in New York City.