By Brian Robb, 9781472110701
From the start superheroes represented the hopes and fears of the time. during this exact heritage, Brian Robb takes the reader in the course of the assorted heritage of superheroes, from the 1st creations—Superman, Batman, ask yourself Woman—to the DC and surprise feud and the darker models of the Eighties, finishing with their rebirth on the movies.
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Extra resources for A Brief Guide to Superheroes: From Superman to the Avengers, the Evolution of Comic Book Legends
The first story concluded with Zorro publicly exposed, his secret identity revealed (a similar fate befell Iron Man’s Tony Stark). The unexpected success of the debut tale – which resulted in the Fairbanks movies – led to Zorro’s secret identity being quickly re-established and more than sixty further stories from McCulley, up to the author’s death in 1958 (the same year that Disney launched a popular Zorro television serial). Zorro would feature in over forty films, ranging from the Fairbanks silent movie to two films starring Antonio Banderas, The Mask of Zorro (1998) and The Legend of Zorro (2005).
For over five years, Siegel and Shuster had been refining their concept of Superman, from bald-headed telepathic villain to red-caped superhero from space, defender of mankind. ‘All this time we really felt that we had something that was very different,’ said Siegel. ’ With the arrival of Action Comics #1 on US news-stands in April 1938, the Golden Age of American comic books had truly begun. The first great surge of popularity for superheroes, many inspired by Siegel and Shuster’s Superman, is called the ‘Golden Age’, from the late-Thirties to the early-Fifties.
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. This second incarnation of Superman was on the side of right, but he had no superpowers beyond superior strength. Nor did the character have a special outfit – there was no cape, simply a man in a T-shirt and trousers who physically set about evil-doers. It was, however, one more important step in the evolution of the classic Superman.
A Brief Guide to Superheroes: From Superman to the Avengers, the Evolution of Comic Book Legends by Brian Robb, 9781472110701