Sunday, December 13, 2015

"Superman: The High-Flying History Of America's Most Enduring Hero" by Larry Tye

Superman has been around for over 75 years now, so it made sense that someone wrote a biography of the iconic character's existence. I had purchased this book shortly after I was halfway thru reading Men of Tomorrow - the Gerard Jones book, which I had reviewed in the previous post - so of course, I'm going to suffer some slight deja vu.

It's a very good appendix of Superman and the many writers and artists who worked on the character over the decades...and of course, it wouldn't be complete without chronicling the lives of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, but this time, the strongest passages aren't so much about them, but about George Reeves, Alexander Salkind, Michael Siegel  ( Jerry's son, whom he neglected ), Christopher Reeve, and some crumbs of shrewd observations regarding every attempt at innovation or retooling the character doomed to erosion, always falling "back-to-basics". These pointed remarks are few and far between...I can imagine a leaner book, packed with more insights and less name & fact-checking..actually, about a 1/3 of Men of Tomorrow told the same tale, so if you, the reader, already own one book, you don't need the other.

One glaring omission: Larry Tye had little/nothing to say about Superman: The Animated Series. Two sentences! What's the deal?! He devoted 3 pages to Superfriends! Maybe he's saving something for an updated volume, which will include Batman vs. Superman...