Recent years have seen a multitude of books about the comic-book industry aimed at a general readership. Was Superman a Spy? is for the opposite kind of audience, hard-core comic-book fans, especially fans of superhero comics. Cronin covers familiar ground with a fine net, hoping to uncover the facts behind some of the “urban legends” in comic-book history. Was the Thing, member of the Fantastic Four, Jewish? Did Bob Kane, creator of Batman, also create Robin, the Boy Wonder? Why did artist and cocreator Steve Ditko leave Spider-Man? Cronin also traces the transference of comic-book heroes into other media, such as movie serials, feature films, and television series. He focuses primarily on stories promoted by the “Big Two” comic-book companies, Marvel and DC Comics, although he includes a section on Walt Disney and such smaller publishers as Fawcett and EC. Those just getting into graphic novels may not find much of interest here, but for hard-core superhero fans and comic-book history mavens, it will be good to the last identity switch. --Stephen Weiner
About the Author
is the writer and producer of the Comics Should Be Good blog at Comic Book Resources. He has been writing the online column, "Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed" since June 2005.
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