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Publisher's Summary

How has the Big Blue Boy Scout stayed so popular for so long? How has he changed with the times, and what essential aspects of him have remained constant? This fascinating biography examines Superman as a cultural phenomenon through 75 years of action-packed adventures, from his early years as a social activist in circus tights to his growth into the internationally renowned demigod he is today.

Written by NPR book critic, blogger, and resident comic-book expert Glen Weldon, this biography chronicles the ever-evolving Man of Steel and his world - not just the men and women behind the comics, movies, and shows, but his continually shifting origin story, burgeoning powers, and the colorful cast of trusted friends and deadly villains that surround him. Superman places every iteration of the Man of Steel into the character's greater, decades-long story: from Bud Collyer to Henry Cavill, World War II propagandist to peanut-butter pitchman, Super Pup to Super Friends, comic strip to Broadway musical, Lori Lemaris to Lois & Clark, it's all here.

Affectionate and in-depth, this biography contains analyses of the hero's most beloved adventures, in and out of the comics - his most iconic Golden Age tales, goofiest Silver Age exploits, and the contemporary film, television, and comics stories that keep him alive today.

©2013 Glen Weldon (P)2020 Dreamscape Media, LLC

What listeners say about Superman

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An awesome museum tour of Superman's 75 years

As a Superman fan from since the 90's, I absolutely enjoyed listening to this. The author knows his material and lovingly walks us through the character's history from the moment of inception to the present. He has also made me look at older material which renewed wonder and appreciation. A must listen for all Superman fans.

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Unauthorized and fairly biased

Informative yet disheartenly biased. The sharing of knowledge is amazing and well prosed but when the author shares upon comic stories they do not like…this becomes a chore to listen.

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Fun!

Weldon's reverence for Superman is tempered with a cheeky wit that I find irresistible!

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Superman Fans Must Listen!!

Superman will endure. He was the first, and the best. Great read will recommend this to all of the Superman fans that I know. As an avid Superman fan I learned a lot about the Man of Steel and his evolution since his creation.

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interesting but dull

it's a history of the cultural icon that is superman not really about his creation and the ensuing drama with DC. it's definitely interesting but it's dull, mostly because of the guy who reads it.

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Glen Weldon is Superman xo

G l e n W e l d o n I s S u p e r m a n XO

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Great overview

Book was a lot of fun. Takes a critical view of Superman through the decades, including print and media. The only problem was the sound had a weird glitch throughout where the volume would drop at times. Annoying but didnt really impact on the enjoyment. Highly recommended for Superman fans.

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Super Son

Excellent history of the Super Man character from the Golden Age of comics through modern times.

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FINALLY, I understand what happened to Superman

If you are a late baby boomer or a person of a certain age that read comics growing up you probably wonder what happened to the Superman we remember. Gone is that silver age or early bronze age hero but this book helps to understand how he got from point A to point B.
Just a heads up, you may not like what you read as to why, but it will help explain what happened to "Truth, Justice and the American way" countless imaginary world stories and like.

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Walk Through the Years with Superman

Superman has been around for more than eighty years, often getting changed but in the end being pulled back to the core concepts that originally fueled his creation. He is the ultimate nice guy, willing to suffer anything to help people. In this book, Glen Weldon walks the reader through his long history in sometimes excruciating detail. I’ve never thought of myself as a serious Superman reader, but I was amazed at how many times—even in the periods before I was born—I remembered what Weldon was talking about. It turns out that reading Superman anthologies in the doctor’s office, picking up stray copies at friends, and reading a lot of books that Superman appeared in, plus the television series, movies, cartoons, songs, and so much more, actually has made Superman a common feature in my life. It was fascinating to see how often I “recognized” a particular incarnation, and fun to walk through the many retcons and other changes that his writers have subjected him to over the years. If you give the book a try, I’ll bet you’ll be surprised by how well you know Superman too.

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  • brian
  • 02-17-22

Super deep dive on the man of steel

Interesting look back at the birth and life of superman and his relevance in popular culture since 1938

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  • Mr
  • 02-04-22

Detailed and well told.

A thoroughly researched and comprehensive biography of the greatest super hero of them all. The author has an obvious affection for the subject and an easy, chummy way of telling the more than 70 year old story. The only drawback really is that it came out in 2013, and quite a bit has happened in the world of the "big blue boy scout" since then. Hardly the author's fault, but a new edition would be excellent.

The narrator is good too, capturing both the epic scale of the character without taking it too seriously.

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  • Tiarnan Hamill
  • 07-14-21

A Super read!

An amazing retrospective of Superman's long history. It gave me a much better understanding of the character's earlier years. There's also no better narrator than Supe's himself - George Newbern!

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  • Robert Ramsay
  • 12-13-20

Simply Perfect

I would have to say this is the greatest audiobook I have ever listened to. Simply Magnificent. An Absolute Joyous Experience!!!