Supermen!

The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes 1939-41

By Greg Sadowski (Editor); Jonathan Lethem (Foreword by); Jonathan Lethem (Introduction by)
(Fantagraphics Books, Paperback, 9781560979715, 191pp.)

Publication Date: April 2009

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Description
"A collection like SUPERMEN works like a reverse-neutron bomb to assumptions about the birth of the superhero image: it tears down the orderly structures of theory and history and leaves the figures standing in full view, staring back at us in all their defiant disorienting particularity, their blazing strangeness." from the foreword by Jonathan Lethem The enduring cultural phenomenon of comic book heroes was invented in the late 1930s by a hungry and talented group of artists and writers barely out of their teens, flying by the seat of their pants to come up with something new, exciting, and above all profitable. The iconography and mythology they created flourishes to this day in practically all visual media. Supermen collects the best and the brightest of this first generation, including Jack Cole, Will Eisner, Bill Everett, Lou Fine, Fletcher Hanks, Jack Kirby, Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, and Basil Wolverton. Readers expecting to find an All-American group of altruistic do-gooders are in for quite a jolt. As Jonathan Lethem writes in his Foreword, A collection like Supermen works like a reverse-neutron bomb to assumptions about the birth of the superhero image: it tears down the orderly structures of theory and history and leaves the figures standing in full view, staring back at us in all their defiant disorienting particularity, their blazing strangeness. Beautifully designed and produced in full color, Supermen contains twenty full-length stories, nine full-sized covers, a generous selection of vintage promotional ads, and comprehensive background notes by editor Greg Sadowski. This anthology is indispensable to anyone interested in the origins of superheroes and the history of the comic book form.

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