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Super Boys: 09/12/13

cover art

Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster are the co-creators of the mild mannered reporter who works for the Daily Planet and when there's a need, dresses in patriotic tights and capes to save his beloved Metropolis or the rest of the world. Depending on the situation, he's known as Clark Kent, Kal-El, or, Superman — or, if he's being teased — Smallville. Super Boys, by Brad Ricca, is an extensive biography of the men behind the Man of Steel.

Superman has in his creation become part of the American mythos (as many of the comic book heroes have). With each retelling, his story evolves, but, as Ricca shows through his research, there are still numerous breadcrumbs leading back to events from his creators' lives and the times in which they lived.

That said, the book does start out slowly. It follows in the old biography tradition of including lengthy bits about both men's parents and other relatives. Sure, some of that is needed to give a contextual starting point, but after a few pages in, I felt the need to skim. Researchers though, might find these passages more useful than I did.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of the Superman comics (or the other adaptations and wants to learn more about the comics). It would also be a nice complement to a library with a graphic novel collection.

Four stars

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