Monday, January 28, 2013
Superman By Larry Tye
Every generation needs a hero. Every child needs someone who can handle the bullies of life and come out a winner. It was just this desire that pushed a young man during the depression of the thirties named Jerry Siegel to envision and put on paper a super character that could handle problems.
It wasn’t easy being Jewish and a puny kid during the depression. He was often overlooked by his peers. He couldn’t get the girl. He was often beat up. If anyone needed someone to believe in who could make things right, it was Jerry. So he invented one. Jerry had an idea of a supreme being who would do right and make things right.
Comics were not well received or even conceived of when Siegel started. But he was had an imagination and a desire to create a character who could handle whatever was thrown at him. In the beginning it wasn’t a super character. He just needed a character who could conquer our fears and dread.
Superman wasn’t original. Jerry Siegel was steeped in Science Fiction so he subconsciously adapted from what was available in 1932. There was Doc Savage and John Carter. Doc had brute strength. John was invulnerable and traveled n space.
The DNA of Superman can be traced back to the Hebrew Bible and the person of Samson.
Larry Tye, the writer of this book, is very detailed in tracing the genesis and growth of Superman.
A lot has happened to Superman since that day he was created..
Superman was tinkered with as time went on. He developed traits and weaknesses according to the time in which he was published. First a comic book character, than a radio character, moving on to television and movies. There were years he was not in the public eye, but he was never forgotten.
Today he is still available to be seen in moves. He started out a loner and today he works with a group of superheroes. But he has never completely disappeared. You may not like what they have done to Superman. He has been remade so many times he may not even be recognizable if our grandparents who grew up on him were to try to recapture their youth.
Every Halloween there are still Superman costumes being sold. Children are still wearing Superman pajamas. There are still people who remember him. And the new legends of Superman put on film are around.
This is a great addition to the story of the development of American pop culture.