Download PDF by Brian J. Robb: A Brief History of Superheroes

By Brian J. Robb

ISBN-10: 1472110706

ISBN-13: 9781472110701

A desirable written exploration of the superhero phenomenon, from its beginnings within the depths of serious melancholy to the blockbuster videos of today.

For over ninety years, superheroes were interrogated, deconstructed, and reinvented. during this wide-ranging learn, Robb appears on the different characters, their creators, and the ways that their creations were reinvented for successive generations. necessarily, the focal point is at the usa, however the context is foreign, together with an exam of characters constructed in India and Japan in response to the normal American hero.

Sections study: the delivery of the superhero, together with Superman, in 1938; the DC relations (Superman, Batman, ask yourself Woman and The Justice Society/League of America), from the Nineteen Forties to the Sixties; the superheroes enlistment within the struggle attempt within the Nineteen Forties and 50s; their neutering by way of the Comics Code; the problem to DC from the wonder kinfolk (The remarkable 4, Spider-Man, and The X-Men), from the Sixties to the Eighties; the superhero as advanced anti-hero; superheroes deconstructed within the Nineteen Eighties (The Watchmen and Frank Miller's Batman), and their politicization; self sufficient comedian ebook creators and new publishers within the Eighties and 90s; superheroes in retreat, and their rebirth on the videos in blockbusters from Batman to Spider-Man and The Avengers.

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Extra info for A Brief History of Superheroes

Sample text

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. Comic books were never more popular as mass entertainment than during this period (although it is arguable that the comic book-inspired superhero movies of the early twenty-first century are even more popular than the original comic books). The archetype of the superhero was defined and refined, with many of the best-known and longest-lasting heroes making their debuts, including the non-super-powered vigilante Batman, the wartime patriotic figure Captain America, the feminist icon Wonder Woman, and the adolescent fantasy figure 63 Captain Marvel (a superhero that, even more than Superman, appealed directly to the downtrodden teen’s wish to be superior in physical strength to bullies and tormentors).

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). Pulp fiction – whether in the form of the Victorian ‘penny dreadfuls’, the American short-story magazines, or the ‘dime’ novels of the early twentieth century, not to mention radio serials of the Twenties and Thirties – produced a variety of heroic and villainous characters that would influence the comic book superheroes of the late-Thirties and early-Forties.

Despite their chalk and cheese personalities, Donenfeld, the would-be gangster and playboy, and Liebowitz, the dull accountant, were complementary in business. 61 In launching Detective Comics during 1937, Wheeler-Nicholson had been forced to take Donenfeld and Liebowitz on as partners in lieu of settling his debts. By 1938 the pair had pushed Wheeler-Nicholson out and taken over the company’s assets, including National (although the company did not officially become DC Comics until 1977, it will hereafter be referred to as DC, taking its name from the initials of Detective Comics and featuring the distinctive DC logo from the Forties).

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