""Weldon's years as a lifelong Superman fan give him superb insight into the character's central truths.... A reliable, witty, and informative guide."" —NPR Books
""Breezily written and compulsively readable."" —A/V Club
""An excellent portrait of the Man of Steel, managing to be fan-crazed and critical at the same time."" —Publishers Weekly
""[Gathers] the sprawling, complex, and occasionally contradictory history of Superman into a rich and deeply textured story."" —New York Journal of Books
You likely have an indelible image of Superman etched in your brain. But from the moment of his birth (as the offspring of two teenage proto-nerds) in 1938, the Man of Steel has proven far more changeable than anyone expected. While he hasn't aged a day, his appearance, powers, vulnerabilities, and persona have evolved in numerous ways.
In Superman: The Unauthorized Biography, NPR's resident comic book expert, Glen Weldon, tells the life story of the world's first, and still the most popular, superhero, from his creation to the present. He reveals how this cultural icon has been continuously transformed, not just by time but by his travels through a variety of media, including comic books, radio, television, movies, and graphic novels.
The original Superman, a tough-talking, two-fisted bruiser, was quick with a smirk and a sarcastic quip. He was impatient and prone to violenceour hotheaded, protective big brother. Yet that early Superman was a social reformer with a decidedly anti-militaristic streak. Only a few years later, he would become a super-patriot, championing the war effort in comic books and on the radio.
Most baby boomers met "The Big Blue Boy Scout" for the first time not through comics or radio, but as played on television by actor George Reeves. Reeves' Superman was more fatherly than his comic book counterpart, a quality that promptly leached into the comics as well. Weldon documents how Superman's persona shifted again in the 1960s and early 1970s as his middle-aged writers started chasing the nation's emergent "youth culture," unintentionally turning him into our bemused, out-of-touch uncle. Then Christopher Reeve came along to make him a more dashing, good-humored, and sometimes passionate hero.
No biography of Superman would be complete without a thorough treatment of Clark Kent, along with his coworkers Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen and their boss, Perry White. Weldon tracks their first appearances and development throughout the series and also pays special attention to Superman's archenemy, Lex Luthor.
Complete with thorough accounts of the Man of Steel's more recent films and television shows as well as comics, graphic novels, and a Broadway musical, Superman: The Unauthorized Biography is the ultimate resource for anyone, young, old, or in between, who wants to know everything about everyone's favorite superhero.
Mr. Weldon's book has greatly expanded that understanding and done so through fun, engaging, and witty prose.
If you want a book that touches on the many changes Superman has undergone both in the comics and in movies you will find this book will answere all of your questions.
Anyone who grew up reading superman comics, graphic novels, and watching the tv shows and movies will find this book both factual and interesting.
Great book love superman and I was happy to get this book I have been reading a lot lately this is a book I have to say very good indeedPublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
This is a terrific book. I think the reason some people don't appreciate Suoerman is they don't understand his history. Read morePublished 3 months ago by VIMHP
Exhaustive but not exhausting, this combination of Superman's fictional and factual history is a great read for any fan of the Man of Steel. Mr. Read morePublished 5 months ago by RRJames
This is a very detailed and thoroughly researched history of Superman, and Weldon has done a great job of exploring the way the Superman concept changed with American culture. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Candace Gregory
I was disappointed with this book. It is just a copy-and -paste from multiple superman comics books. I didn't find any extra value. I decided to stop reading after 50 pages.Published 6 months ago by Juan Roca
Glen Weldon thinks about Superman a lot and it serves us well. This book is a good read, an overview that moves along and dips into the myths of Superman along the way.Published 6 months ago by Jeff Irwin
I enjoyed the book for the most part, but did think it was written in a style that seemed to not completely respect the Superman mythos almost as if a person should consider... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Granite
This book was purchased as a gift and the receiver is enjoying it a lot. If you are into super heroes and comic folk lore, it is a fun read.Published 7 months ago by The Mom
A comprehensive accounting of superman, Clark Kent & Kal-El. I would have liked to see more about the fictional life/biography but the high points are present.Published 9 months ago by Kevin Kiley