• 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

Great overview of superhero comics history

This book is a great primer on superhero comics, beginning with early 20th century comic strips, like Little Nemo in Slumberland and Popeye, and pulp fiction to the bumper crop of 21st century superhero mivies.

If you are into indie comics (or comix), this ain't the book for you. If you know everything there is about comics history, this ain't for you either.

But if you want to know how Superman emerged out of the Great Depression and the origin stories of DC and Marvel as well as their big -name characters, this is the title for your spinner rack.

The authors tackle the history chronologically. You get background on major players--Stan Lee, Jack Kirby et al--and influential series. The 1986 appearance of The Dark Knight by Frank Miller and Watchmen by Alan Moore gets coverage, so too the creative brain drain to Image Comics.

One of the best features of this audiobook is the use of actual interview audio with comics creators and fanboy-historians: Stan Lee, Grant Morrison, Michael Chabon and several others.

You may want to check out the companion film documentary, which is essentially an abridgement of this with visuals. The author does a nice job of narrating his book.
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- true britty

Book Details

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