Superheroes!

  • by Laurence Maslon, Michael Kantor
  • Narrated by Laurence Maslon
  • 10 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Wonder Woman, the Avengers, the X-Men, Watchmen, and more: the companion volume to the PBS documentary series of the same name that tells the story of the superhero in American popular culture.
Together again for the first time, here come the greatest comic book superheroes ever assembled between two covers: down from the heavens - Superman and the Mighty Thor - or swinging over rooftops - the Batman and Spider-Man; star-spangled, like Captain America and Wonder Woman, or clad in darkness, like the Shadow and Spawn; facing down super-villains on their own, like the Flash and the Punisher or gathered together in a team of champions, like the Avengers and the X-Men!
Based on the three-part PBS documentary series Superheroes, this companion volume chronicles the never-ending battle of the comic book industry, its greatest creators, and its greatest creations. Covering the effect of superheroes on American culture - in print, on film and television, and in digital media - and the effect of American culture on its superheroes, Superheroes: Capes, Cowls, and the Creation of Comic Book Culture appeals to readers of all ages, from the casual observer of the phenomenon to the most exacting fan of the genre.
Drawing from more than 50 new interviews conducted expressly for Superheroes! - creators from Stan Lee to Grant Morrison, commentators from Michael Chabon to Jules Feiffer, actors from Adam West to Lynda Carter, and filmmakers such as Zach Snyder - this is an up-to-the-minute narrative history of the superhero, from the comic strip adventurers of the Great Depression, up to the blockbuster CGI movie superstars of the 21st Century. Featuring more than 500 full-color comic book panels, covers, sketches, photographs of both essential and rare artwork, Superheroes is the definitive story of this powerful presence in pop culture.
BONUS FEATURE: Exclusive first-hand commentary from some of the greatest creators in comic book history, from Golden Age artists and writers (Carmine Infantino, Joe Kubert, Stan Lee) to the superstars of the Silver Age (Neal Adams, Jim Steranko, Denny O'Neil)--all the way up to the movers and shakers of the 21st Century (Todd McFarlane, Joe Quesada); plus luminaries such as Adam West, Jules Feiffer and Michael Chabon.
Selected interviews from Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle courtesy of Ghost Light Films, © 2013 Ghost Light Films.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Probably the best book ever written on the genre.

I have been reading comics since the early 1960’s and was then a DC fan. I am now more into the Marvel storylines but in my late 50’s still enjoy the superhero genre and comics in general so I was keen to read this book.

I got this as a present when it was first published and it has been sitting by my bed to read for some years. I read a lot and also download to Audible comic book related stuff. I must of read 10-20 books on comics, Marvel company, DC Universe and such like. However, this has to be the best written and most enjoyable book I have read.

It seems to have a slight Marvel bias but that didn’t spoil it for me. Well written, excellently researched and for the first time in ages I learnt stuff that I had never read or heard of before.

Its written in chronological order which it needed to be and covers the early genre from the comics in the newspapers, the Funnies as the American refers to them, right up to the film releases of 2012 of the Avengers and the Dark Knight from Marvel and Dc respectively. I have both the book and the Audible download and whilst both cover the entire book the Audible has the interviews by the writers which is an added dimension and I would recommend having both the book and the download.

The book does take a different slant on some member of the comics industry. For example read Marvel Comics - The Untold Story and Stan Lee takes a pasting. Here he comes out as the real saviour of Marvel and the instigator into the spin off movies etc. Good to get a different view of Stan in my eyes.

After reading the book I found that I had a new inspired interest in comics and the book refers to a number of classic stories which soon after the reference had me looking on eBay for a reading copy (No way will I pay top dollar for pristine copies I just want to read and share).

All in all, in my opinion, this is the best book on the genre I have ever read and I am starting again from the beginning of the book as I am sure I will enjoy it as much as I did first time or from hearing the Audible version.
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- Pete Lachaise

Good overview of the history of US comics industry

Great mix of social history, the lives of main creators and review of the landmark stories/characters. Perfect "what really happened" book for people who loved Chabon's Kavalier & Clay and a good primer for those planning to jump into Grant Morrison's Supergods or Gerard Jones's Men of Tomorrow both of which are fantastic books which delve a little deeper into the darker corners of the history of the comic business.
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- John Horncastle

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-10-2013
  • Publisher: Random House Audio