The ultimate encyclopedia of comic-book icons and hollywood heroes. The Superhero Book is the ultimate A-Z compendium of everyone's favorite superheroes and their mythology, sidekicks, villains, love interests, superpowers, and modus operandi. Almost 300 entries cover the best-loved and historically significant comic book, movie, television, and novel superheroes-mainstream and counterculture, famous and forgotten, best and worst.
It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a complete guide to over fifty years of superheroes on screen! Each entry includes a detailed history, cast and credits, episode and film descriptions, critical commentaries and data on arch-villains, gadgets, comic-book origins and super powers, while placing each production into its historical context.Four appendices list common conventions and cliches of superheroes on screen, incarnations, a sampling of memorable superhero ad-lines, and the best, worst, and most influential superhero productions from 1951 to 2003. Mr. Muir's Horror Films of the 1970s (2002) was selected as one of the thirteen Reference Books of the Year by the American Library Association.
Superhero comic books are traditionally thought to have two distinct periods, two major waves of creativity: the Golden Age and the Silver Age. In simple terms, the Golden Age was the birth of the superhero proper out of the pulp novel characters of the early 1930s, and was primarily associated with the DC Comics Group. Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman are the most famous creations of this period. In the early 1960s, Marvel Comics launched a completely new line of heroes, the primary figures of the Silver Age: the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, the X-Men, the Avengers, Iron Man, and Daredevil. In this book, Geoff Klock presents a study of the Third Movement of superhero comic books. He avoids, at all costs, the temptation to refer to this movement as "Postmodern," "Deconstructionist," or something equally tedious. Analyzing the works of Frank Miller, Alan Moore, Warren Ellis, and Grant Morrison among others, and taking his cue from Harold Bloom, Klock unearths the birth of self-consciousness in the superhero narrative and guides us through an intricate world of traditions, influences, nostalgia and innovations - a world where comic books do indeed become literature.>
Despite their commercial appeal and cross-media reach, superheroes are only recently starting to attract sustained scholarly attention. This groundbreaking collection brings together essays and book excerpts by major writers on comics and popular culture. While superhero comics are a distinct and sometimes disdained branch of comics creation, they are integral to the development of the North American comic book and the history of the medium. For the past half-century they have also been the one overwhelmingly dominant market genre. The sheer volume of superhero comics that have been published over the years is staggering. Major superhero universes constitute one of the most expansive storytelling canvases ever fashioned. Moreover, characters inhabiting these fictional universes are immensely influential, having achieved iconic recognition around the globe. Their images and adventures have shaped many other media, such as film, videogames, and even prose fiction.The primary aim of this reader is twofold: first, to collect in a single volume a sampling of the most sophisticated commentary on superheroes, and second, to bring into sharper focus the ways in which superheroes connect with larger social, cultural, literary, aesthetic, and historical themes that are of interest to a great many readers both in the academy and beyond.
From one of the most acclaimed and profound writers in the world of comics comes a thrilling and provocative exploration of humankind's great modern myth: the superhero The first superhero comic ever published, Action Comics no. 1 in 1938, introduced the world to something both unprecedented and timeless: Superman, a caped god for the modern age. In a matter of years, the skies of the imaginary world were filled with strange mutants, aliens, and vigilantes: Batman, Wonder Woman, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, and the X-Men--the list of names as familiar as our own. In less than a century, they've gone from not existing at all to being everywhere we look: on our movie and television screens, in our videogames and dreams. But what are they trying to tell us? For Grant Morrison, arguably the greatest of contemporary chroniclers of the "superworld," these heroes are powerful archetypes whose ongoing, decades-spanning story arcs reflect and predict the course of human existence: Through them we tell the story of ourselves, our troubled history, and our starry aspirations. In this exhilarating work of a lifetime, Morrison draws on art, science, mythology, and his own astonishing journeys through this shadow universe to provide the first true history of the superhero--why they matter, why they will always be with us, and what they tell us about who we are . . . and what we may yet become.
A history of the trailblazing comics that broke color barriers and portrayed African Americans in heroic storylines What do the comic book figures Static, Hardware, and Icon all have in common? Black Superheroes, Milestone Comics, and Their Fans gives an answer that goes far beyond "tights and capes," an answer that lies within the mission Milestone Media, Inc., assumed in comic book culture. Milestone was the brainchild of four young black creators who wanted to part from the mainstream and do their stories their own way. This history of Milestone, a "creator-owned" publishing company, tells how success came to these mavericks in the 1990s and how comics culture was expanded and enriched as fans were captivated by this new genre. Milestone focused on the African American heroes in a town called Dakota. Quite soon these black action comics took a firm position in the controversies of race, gender, and corporate identity in contemporary America. Characters battled supervillains and sometimes even clashed with more widely known superheroes. Front covers of Milestone comics often bore confrontational slogans like "Hardware: A Cog in the Corporate Machine is About to Strip Some Gears." Milestone's creators aimed for exceptional stories that addressed racial issues without alienating readers. Some competitors, however, accused their comics of not being black enough or of merely marketing Superman in black face. Some felt that the stories were too black, but a large cluster of readers applauded these new superheroes for fostering African American pride and identity. Milestone came to represent an alternative model of black heroism and, for a host of admirers, the ideal of masculinity. Black Superheroes gives details about the founding of Milestone and reports on the secure niche its work and its image achieved in the marketplace. Tracing the company's history and discussing its creators, their works, and the fans, this book gauges Milestone alongside other black comic book publishers, mainstream publishers, and the history of costumed characters.
"Fingeroth's book is an easy, intriguing read, exploring the histories of superheroes and their creators. This is clearly a topic in which Fingeroth is eminently well-versed." -Jewish Book World "Like a Yiddish theater play on the old Jewish Second Avenue, or like a really good comic book, Danny will make you laugh, cry and, best of all, he'll make you think."--From the foreword by Stan Lee In Disguised as Clark Kent, Danny Fingeroth--a long-time executive in the comics business who wrote and edited Spider-Man as well as other famous lines for Marvel--reflects on the phenomenon of the heavily Jewish elements that, consciously or not, went into the creation of the superhero. Centering on questions of Jewish identity, which is historically about the push and pull toward and away from that very identity, Disguised as Clark Kent brings valuable insight into the fantasies that fuel our imaginations and entertainment industry, as well as many significant and often hidden aspects of our society. >
Trina Robbins, author of A Century of Women Cartoonists, has written the ultimate book on superheroines. The Great Women Superheroes is the first book of its kind. Robbins covers good girls and bad in one fascinating volume. Over 200 illustrations!
This close look at Wonder Woman’s history portrays a complicated heroine who is more than just a female Superman with a golden lasso and bullet-deflecting bracelets. The original Wonder Woman was ahead of her time, advocating female superiority and the benefits of matriarchy in the 1940s. At the same time, her creator filled the comics with titillating bondage imagery, and Wonder Woman was tied up as often as she saved the world. In the 1950s, Wonder Woman begrudgingly continued her superheroic mission, wishing she could settle down with her boyfriend instead, all while continually hinting at hidden lesbian leanings. While other female characters stepped forward as women’s lib took off in the late 1960s, Wonder Woman fell backwards, losing her superpowers and flitting from man to man. Ms. magazine and Lynda Carter restored Wonder Woman’s feminist strength in the 1970s, turning her into a powerful symbol as her checkered past was quickly forgotten. Exploring this lost history adds new dimensions to the world’s most beloved female character, and Wonder Woman Unbound delves into her comic book and its spin-offs as well as the myriad motivations of her creators to showcase the peculiar journey that led to Wonder Woman’s iconic status.