• by Laurence Maslon, Michael Kantor
  • Narrated by Laurence Maslon
  • 10 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Wonder Woman, the Avengers, the X-Men, Watchmen, and more: the companion volume to the PBS documentary series of the same name that tells the story of the superhero in American popular culture.
Together again for the first time, here come the greatest comic book superheroes ever assembled between two covers: down from the heavens - Superman and the Mighty Thor - or swinging over rooftops - the Batman and Spider-Man; star-spangled, like Captain America and Wonder Woman, or clad in darkness, like the Shadow and Spawn; facing down super-villains on their own, like the Flash and the Punisher or gathered together in a team of champions, like the Avengers and the X-Men!
Based on the three-part PBS documentary series Superheroes, this companion volume chronicles the never-ending battle of the comic book industry, its greatest creators, and its greatest creations. Covering the effect of superheroes on American culture - in print, on film and television, and in digital media - and the effect of American culture on its superheroes, Superheroes: Capes, Cowls, and the Creation of Comic Book Culture appeals to readers of all ages, from the casual observer of the phenomenon to the most exacting fan of the genre.
Drawing from more than 50 new interviews conducted expressly for Superheroes! - creators from Stan Lee to Grant Morrison, commentators from Michael Chabon to Jules Feiffer, actors from Adam West to Lynda Carter, and filmmakers such as Zach Snyder - this is an up-to-the-minute narrative history of the superhero, from the comic strip adventurers of the Great Depression, up to the blockbuster CGI movie superstars of the 21st Century. Featuring more than 500 full-color comic book panels, covers, sketches, photographs of both essential and rare artwork, Superheroes is the definitive story of this powerful presence in pop culture.
BONUS FEATURE: Exclusive first-hand commentary from some of the greatest creators in comic book history, from Golden Age artists and writers (Carmine Infantino, Joe Kubert, Stan Lee) to the superstars of the Silver Age (Neal Adams, Jim Steranko, Denny O'Neil)--all the way up to the movers and shakers of the 21st Century (Todd McFarlane, Joe Quesada); plus luminaries such as Adam West, Jules Feiffer and Michael Chabon.
Selected interviews from Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle courtesy of Ghost Light Films, © 2013 Ghost Light Films.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Almost documentary in parts

My spouse and I listened to this book on vacation, in the car as we drove to our destination, at our destination and back in the car on the way home. We enjoyed it greatly because we both love comic books.
This audiobook makes use of recorded interviews so for some parts you get the interviewees' own voices, making it almost like a documentary. We really appreciated this.
The book covers the origins of characters known and little known and also gets into the real world business part of the comic industry. It seemed a little MARVEL heavy as opposed to DC, but explained, though the history of those enterprises why they are so different and why somethings don't get produced. The book also gets into some industry nitty gritty that explained some quirks about comic book 'cannon' that I'd never given much thought to.
I am better for having listened to this book and it helped me look at the comics I love differently with a different level of appreciation.
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- Marie "Professional librarian type, amateur historian."

Good beginning. Derailed in the last third.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

The beginning of this novel is a great historical document. Nothing that hasn't been covered before in books like The 10 Cent Plague, Supergods or Marvel the Untold Story. Unfortunately, the last third of the book focuses on the modern age with some major errors, omissions, and ret-conning of history (both current and silver age) with an obvious (and somewhat bitter) feminist promotional agenda.

What could Laurence Maslon and Michael Kantor have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

They could have checked their information more carefully and kept their 90s fanboyism in check.

What three words best describe Laurence Maslon’s performance?

Crisp, sarcastic, condescending.

Did Superheroes! inspire you to do anything?

It inspired me to avoid any more books by Laurence Maslon.

Any additional comments?

Enjoy the first two thirds. It's a fairly concise condensed version of previously published, superior works.

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- Jeffrey

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-08-2013
  • Publisher: Random House Audio