By Brian Robb, 9781472110701
From the start superheroes represented the hopes and fears of the time. during this distinctive background, Brian Robb takes the reader during the various heritage of superheroes, from the 1st creations—Superman, Batman, ask yourself Woman—to the DC and surprise feud and the darker types of the Nineteen Eighties, finishing with their rebirth on the movies.
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Additional resources for A Brief Guide to Superheroes: From Superman to the Avengers, the Evolution of Comic Book Legends
The Scarlet Pimpernel exhibits several attributes that would later become standard superhero conventions, including a penchant for disguise, a wicked way with a signature weapon (a sword), and the ability to out-think and outwit his adversaries. He creates a popular image for himself by leaving behind a calling card depicting a scarlet pimpernel flower at each of his interventions. By drawing attention to his alter ego Blakeney creates a public furore and hides behind his public face as a slow-thinking, foppish playboy (like Bruce Wayne).
Looking for a strong cover feature for Action Comics, Sullivan and Mayer dipped into the company ‘slush pile’ (unsolicited manuscripts and strips sent in, hopeful of publication) where they found the long-neglected Superman pitch. For a while Siegel and Shuster had tried to sell their idea as a newspaper strip with some interest from the United Features Syndicate in 1937. Now Vin Sullivan was offering them the thirteen-page lead strip in Action Comics, so they rapidly reformatted the intended daily Superman strips into a form suitable for the by-now standardized comic book page.
The two men were Jerome (known as Jerry) Siegel and Joe Shuster, and the character was Superman, from whom virtually all other superheroes derived, either in imitation of or in direct reaction to the Man of Steel who fell to Earth from the planet Krypton. 45 Most extraordinarily, the culturally important and lasting figure of Superman was created by two socially awkward teenagers from Cleveland in the middle of America’s Great Depression. He was not a corporate creation, nor the work of a pulp fiction writer or a newspaper strip veteran: Superman and the mythos established in the first run of appearances in Action Comics, newspaper strips and a long-running radio series, came from the imagination of a couple of downtrodden kids who dreamt big dreams.
A Brief Guide to Superheroes: From Superman to the Avengers, the Evolution of Comic Book Legends by Brian Robb, 9781472110701