- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (April 1, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1118341848
- ISBN-13: 978-1118341841
- Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1.1 x 10.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 62 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #202,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Superman: The Unauthorized Biography 1st Edition
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""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
From the Inside Flap
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.
Top customer reviews
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The book starts by breaking down a synopsis of the first 10-15 Action comics issue by issue. So much information is out there about the first issue Yet I have never seen the coverage of the others. At this point instead of skimming the book I simply read it cover to cover.
It has a great way of breaking the history into almost decades. Covering all the manifestation of the figure be it radio print,TV Movie and cultural. It flows back and forth and really has nice detailing.
I liked the book so much I had to pick it up. It is a great read and really follows out the changes in the hero and our culture over the last 70 years. I suggest you pick it up.
I have been a Superman comic collector for many years, and have never seen a treatment of this character presented like this--where the author truly understands the core appeal, and is able to discuss both movie set drama, superhero evolution, and detailed comic story arcs with humor and insight.
Highly recommend this book to any Superman fans!!!
Buy this book. It is funny, easy to read, smart and thoroughly enjoyable.
One caveat: I was expecting more about Krypto. Maybe a sequel?
One request: Same treatise but for Aquaman and Wonder Woman!