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From Booklist ( /gp/feature.html/?docId=1000027801 )
This celebratory volume marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of the debut of Superman, featuring 19 stories
representing the many facets and eras of the hero’s lengthy career. The selections include his very first appearance,
from 1938; landmark tales featuring his first encounters with Batman and archfoe Brainiac; and a recent story depicting
a newly revamped version of the character. The creators include Superman’s originators, Siegel and Shuster; the artists
most associated with the character in the 1950s and ’60s, Curt Swan and Wayne Boring; and such comics superstars as Alan
Moore, Frank Miller, and Grant Morrison. Although chapter introductions explain Superman’s revised histories—for a
while, he was married to longtime girlfriend Lois Lane, but now he’s single again—the multiple universes and alternate
worlds are likely to confuse the casual reader, while hard-core fans will no doubt gripe about the selections (the most
glaring omission might be Morrison and Frank Quitely’s All-Star Superman, 2007). The myriad approaches demonstrate the
evolution of not just Superman but the entire superhero genre. --Gordon Flagg
About the Author
Born in 1914 in Cleveland, Ohio, Jerome Siegel was, as a teenager, a fan of the emerging literary genre
that came to be known as science fiction. Together with schoolmate Joe Shuster, Siegel published several science-fiction
fan magazines, and in 1933 they came up with their own science-fiction hero -- Superman. Siegel scripted and Shuster
drew several weeks' worth of newspaper strips featuring their new creation, but garnered no interest from publishers or
newspaper syndicates. It wasn't until the two established themselves as reliable adventure-strip creators at DC Comics
that the editors at DC offered to take a chance on the Superman material -- provided it was re-pasted into comic-book
format for DC's new magazine, ACTION COMICS.
Siegel wrote the adventures of Superman (as well as other DC heroes, most notably the Spectre, his co-creation with
Bernard Baily) through 1948 and then again from 1959-1966, in the interim scripting several newspaper strips including
Funnyman and Ken Winston. Jerry Siegel died in January, 1996.
Joseph Shuster was born in 1914 in Toronto, Canada. When he was nine, his family moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where Shuster
met Jerry Siegel. The two became fast friends and collaborators; together, they published the earliest science-fiction
fan magazines, where Shuster honed his fledgling art skills. In 1936, he and Siegel began providing DC Comics with such
new features as Dr. Occult, Slam Bradley and Radio Squad before selling Superman to DC in 1938. Influenced by such
comic-strip greats as Wash Tubbs' Roy Crane, Joe Shuster drew Superman through 1947, after which he left comic books to
create the comic strip Funnyman, again with Siegel. Failing eyesight cut short his career, but not before his place in
the history of American culture was assured. Shuster died of heart failure on July 30, 1992.