By Brian Robb, 9781472110701
From the start superheroes represented the hopes and fears of the time. during this unique historical past, Brian Robb takes the reader throughout the various historical past of superheroes, from the 1st creations—Superman, Batman, ask yourself Woman—to the DC and wonder feud and the darker models of the 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
Siegel had grown up in Cleveland, and was also the son of Jewish immigrants. The pair struck up a fast friendship, sharing a love of science fiction in movie serials, pulp magazines, and newspaper comic strips. They were avid readers of Amazing Stories and Weird Tales, pulps that offered them regular doses of strangeness and imagination. They loved to catch the latest Douglas Fairbanks swashbuckler at the movies. Most importantly of all, they devoured the daily and Sunday newspaper comic strips, especially the space opera adventures of Buck Rogers or Edgar Rice Burroughs’ jungle adventures of Tarzan.
Equally, Holmes’s chronicler Dr John Watson might be thought of as an archetypal superhero sidekick. Other British fictional heroes, such as W. E. Johns’ Biggles (pilot and adventurer James Bigglesworth, whose adventures ran from 1932 until Johns’ death in 1968), John Buchan’s Richard Hannay (in five novels, starting with The Thirty-Nine Steps, 1915), and Herman Cyril McNeile’s Bulldog Drummond (1920–54), provided a kind of ‘stiff upper lip’ heroism of a duty-bound kind that saw selfless men (almost 36 never women) embark upon uncertain adventures often simply for the thrill of it all.
They promptly revived their ‘Superman’ and put together a sample comic book, sending it to Consolidated. As Siegel recalled: ‘It occurred to me that Superman as a hero rather than a villain might make a great comic strip character in the vein of Tarzan, only more super and sensational . . Joe and I drew it up as a comic book – this was in early 1933. ’ Consolidated had responded to ‘The Superman’ positively, but decided to discontinue Detective Dan after just one issue. Upset by the rejection, Shuster burnt every page of ‘The Superman’, except for the cover Siegel rescued from the flames.