By Brian Robb, 9781472110701
From the start superheroes represented the hopes and fears of the time. during this specified historical past, Brian Robb takes the reader throughout the assorted historical past of superheroes, from the 1st creations—Superman, Batman, ask yourself Woman—to the DC and wonder 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 Phantom (1936), created by Lee Falk, featured in a daily syndicated newspaper strip and wore a skin-tight purple bodysuit and ‘domino’ eye mask (standard for many superheroes). The look came from Robin Hood (often depicted in tights), while the mask without pupils came from Greek busts. Falk had form, having already created villain-battling hypnotist Mandrake the Magician two years before. The first masked crime-fighter (without superpowers) published exclusively as a comic book character (having not previously appeared on radio or in newspaper strips) was the Clock, created by George Brenner for the Comic Magazine Company.
Yet another millionaire playboy, Richard Wentworth passed his time fighting crime in New York wearing a black cape and a slouch hat – later he’d affect make-up or a face mask to create a figure more frightening to underworld villains (Batman’s later motivation for his disguise). As with so many pulp detectives, the Spider was a master of disguise, often masquerading as small-time crook Blinky McQuade to gain intelligence from criminals. The often violent stories saw the Spider – known as ‘the Master of Men’ – engage villains involved in nationwide criminal enterprises, sometimes leading to the deaths of hundreds of people.
Although the police report suggested gunshots were fired, sixty-year-old Mitchell Siegel actually died of a heart attack. Some in the Siegel family believed Mitchell’s death was murder, despite the coroner’s report indicating there were ‘no wounds’. Jerry Siegel’s first thoughts about Superman came in the weeks immediately following his father’s death: it is little wonder that the then-seventeen-year-old youth dreamt up a fantasy hero figure who could repel bullets, and who would fight for truth and justice against the criminal underworld.
A Brief Guide to Superheroes: From Superman to the Avengers, the Evolution of Comic Book Legends by Brian Robb, 9781472110701