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VINE VOICEon May 4, 2012
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Tye is a great writer, and an excellent researcher. I read the usual reviewer's copy which was sent minus photos. Finally getting a copy that is complete completes the deal: solid. Kudos, btw, for the Alex Ross spread that features our daughter from Superman: Peace on Earth: THAT was a surprise.

Covering every angle of the character, his creators, the business, the various adventures is well-written and covers enough to please most fans, but outside of a thesis, I dunno.
The plus: Tons of everything behind every scene, from comics through movies and beyond. The minuses: A mention on how hot Teri Hatcher looked wrapped in that cape begs for a photo, and comparing it to Noel Neil's pin-ups during WWII, would like to see them.

Still, every gossipy fact is here, perfectly assembled. A true fanchild's primer on all-things Kryptonian. And yes, there is a layer of spirituality in SUPERMAN, sans religion and free to bring truth, justice and ethics to generations of true believers.

Very good fact-digging and gossip, and any fan would enjoy it. Today, it transcends gossip and turns into history.
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Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
There are several books about Superman, arguable American's most iconic superhero, that approach the character from the angles of comics, movies, TV and more. This one does all of that and offers background that I did not know about the lives of the creators of the character, the circumstances and social contexts in which they made Superman possible, posits about how the character was an extension of their lives and how it came at the right time, over and over again, to a country that needed a hero.

The book begins with the creation of Superman for comic books, how he stood out among other creations, became an icon, moved to radio and TV, and concludes with recent TV incarnations. Along the way, the battles of Siegel and Shuster for rights and credit are explained. I have not read all the other Superman behind the scenes books -- and would like to -- but this is a nice overall look at a phenomenon that never leaves the public imagination in one form or another.
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on July 26, 2012
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Author Larry Tye has written a definitive work about the origins and impact of Superman. This book is dense and detailed, with copious footnotes and an extensive bibliography. From Superman's earliest inklings in the minds of his creators, Jerry Stiegel and Joe Shuster, who were both school boys in Cleveland in the 1930s and who met at the library, to his incarnations in print, on television and on the big screen, the author weaves a fascinating, readable, detailed story about the Man of Steel. One particularly interesting chapter details how Superman's image had to change after World War II because he was important enough to have been noticed by the Nazis in a rather foul way.

The impact that Superman has had on our pop culture, and on our American myths is nothing short of fantastic, and with a new Superman movie soon to hit theaters, this book is quite timely for modern readers.

Highly recommended.
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Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've been a Superman fan for years and so am pretty familiar with the history of the character. Overall, this book does a fine job of providing the history of the character and his worlds, both real and imaginary. The emphasis is more on earlier history than the more recent iterations such as the film Superman Returns and Smallville. If you aren't familiar with the Superman creation, legacy and many iterations, this is a good place to start although I wouldn't rely on it for heavy information on any single version, especially the more recent ones as I stated. After all, it's not a fan book about Lois and Clark or Smallville, for example, but about the character itself of which tv shows and films have only been a few chapters as they are here. But from the birth to the reboot to the death of Superman, this book will educate you about the comics, the films, the shows and some other surprises in between.
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Format: Hardcover
Larry Tye's "Superman: The High-Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero" is an extremely well-written journey through nearly 75 years of Superman in comics, movies, television and beyond. The greatest strength of the book is its exploration of the story of Superman's creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Tye had access to Siegel's unpublished biography and other documents that lend new facts to the narrative of Superman's originators, who spent their lives battling for bigger portions of the profits generated by their hero. But Tye also charts how the character evolved decade-by-decade in the comics, going from 1930's New Deal reformer to Reagan Conservative and back, and sheds light on the ups and downs of the comics industry as a whole as seen through the prism of the Man of Steel. For Superman fans and pop culture aficionados, this is required reading!
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VINE VOICEon July 17, 2012
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Tye does a wonderful job with this exhaustive, enthralling biography of Superman, treating his subject with great respect, if not awe. Beginning with his origins in the fevered minds of Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster, he then chronicles the Last Son of Krypton's move to the comic books, charting his evolution in that medium from 1938 to the present day. Tye also describes how Kal-El's popularity grew, heightened by appearances in other venues, such as radio, television and film. Along the way, he also discusses those who bolstered the Man of Steel's legend, whether by chronicling his exploits, portraying him, or merely taking care of the numerous business matters that arose due to his existence. Doing so, Tye provides a fresh, comprehensive take on Smallville's favorite son, giving readers a new perspective on this most famous of septuagenarians.
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on February 18, 2015
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I grew up on "Adventures of Superman" with George Reeves and read comics in the late 50's and early 60's. I own the TV series and two movie serials and have always been a fan. Have watched the Reeve movies and most recent reboots. I had not kept up with all of the updates and variations that have occurred in the world of Superman. This book is a very good history of the character giving how all of the formats tied in with each other or in some cases didn't until a later time when there was more reinvention of his history and powers or the villains or his "costars". The only reason I didn't rate this with five stars is that it wasn't as fast a read as I thought it would be but I was still very pleased with it. Not a kids' book in the way it is handled.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2012
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This brand new, almost 400 page volume, will be a "must have" for all true SUPERMAN fans! Larry Tye has done a super job in detailing everyone's hero. It's an easy read, but loaded with things you never know about SUPERMAN. The book covers everything you want to know about the hero, starting from his birth, to his becoming our hero, to his flying abilities, tights, fights and everything associated with him. This is not a quick read. A true SUPERMAN fan will take the time to savor all that can be found in this book. The bibliography alone 43 pages!
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on September 1, 2014
This was an excellent overview and perspective about the creation and evolution of Superman and his network of related characters. We're taken on a pre-Krypton journey through to the modern era with information about the various media Superman appeared in. This was a well-researched book that shows how the Man of Steel evolved with the times, plus we become acquainted with the ongoing backstories guiding and protecting his evolution as hero and myth. Highly recommended if you're interested in the story and business of Superman.
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VINE VOICEon November 5, 2012
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A fine chronicle of the iconic character in all of his multi- media adventures. Having received an advance reviewer's copy I'm hoping the few mistakes I caught will be corrected in the final printing. That said I found it an enjoyable read. There were insightful observations of the historical influences on the comics continuity (continuities). Recommended for both the casual reader and the die hard Superman fan.
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