Super Boys: The Amazing Adventures of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster--the Creators of Superman
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Super Boys: The Amazing Adventures of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster--the Creators of Superman

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  99 ratings  ·  33 reviews
In time for the 75th anniversary of the Man of Steel, comes the first comprehensive literary biography of Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, creators of the DC Comics superheroSuperman and the inspiration for Michael Chabon's Kavalier and Clay

Drawing on ten years of research in the trenches of Cleveland libraries, boarded-up high schools, and secret, private collections, and a...more
Hardcover, 423 pages
Published June 4th 2013 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2013)
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(showing 1-30 of 531)
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Tim Mayer
It's hard to imaging a hero more American than Superman. Even his principles spell-out his country: "Truth, Justice, and the American Way". And yet The Man Of Steel's origins are foreign, even interplanetary. Everyone knows his beginnings: how his parents spirited him away to safety in a rocket from their dying world. How he was raised by the Kents, plain folks, as a farm boy, and how, upon discovering his powers, he fought evil as a superhero. By what about his creators? Who were the men who cr...more
Wayne McCoy
Super Boys is the culmination of 10 years research by Brad Ricca. The result is an excellent biography about the creators of Superman, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The book includes rare early artwork and stories from their days in high school. Through these, you can see the evolution of Superman.

Jerry just tried wanted to fit in. He wrote for the school newspaper under aliases. He wrote stories about the girls he liked. He wrote letters to the early science fiction magazines and he schemed to...more
I have always considered myself to be more of a Batman sort of guy than, Superman guy, but am always interested in hearing about the creation of superheroes, no matter who they might be. I am also always interested in hearing how they were created. Turns out, Siegel and Shuster were a lot like many sci-fi/fantasy (and now comic book) fans in high school. They both believed they could come up with something at least as good as was being published. I believe it is this background on both men as th...more
I can remember watching the original Superman movies with Christopher Reeves. Mr. Reeves played a good superman. I don’t remember much about the comic book version of superman. I was not much of a comic book fan.

To be honest this book would not be one of my first choices to read but nonetheless, I am intrigued to learn about the men behind the superhero. I learned a lot about who Jerry and Joe are as people. It was nice to learn where they came from and how they met. Mr. Ricca does a great job...more
Mark Clark
I recently had one of the worst vacations of my life. The weather was terrible, my wife developed pneumonia and my son came down with an intestinal virus. The only highlight of this misbegotten trip was my reading material: Brad Ricca's superb Siegel and Shuster biography, Super Boys. I found it so engrossing that I was almost glad the trip was so awful, since it allowed me more reading time.

I thought I knew a lot about Superman, but reading Ricca's book made me realize how little I actually kne...more
Dan Trudeau
Here's the deal: I can't write an objective review of this book. I've been waiting for a long-form biography of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster my entire life. Marc Tyler Nobleman got the ball rolling with his picture book, Boys of Steel. Their lives have fascinated me since I was a kid and I couldn't wait to dig into the details.

It was as enjoyable experience as I hoped it would be, thanks to Ricca's research and descriptive, effective prose. Fascinating details were brought to life and I put the...more
Before these “Superboys” we didn’t have fictional heroes the way we do now. Publishing has changed in so many ways since their humble beginnings and they have helped to change it, how can you not admire that?

Most die hard Superman fans will know a good portion of this book -- or at least the bigger picture. The fine details are where this book sets itself aside from others. So many of the books/tv shows/ etc focus on the history of the Man of Steel himself and not his creators. His creators who...more
Adam Smith
Dec 13, 2013 Adam Smith rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Adam by: N/A
This is a biography that tells the story behind the story of the iconic superhero: Superman. Brad Ricca leaves no stone unturned in his research for this book. The end notes document original source material used such as newspapers, books, magazines, comic books, web sites, letters, original art work and personal interviews. Ricca does an excellent job in bringing Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster alive for a new generation of readers. One does not need to be a comic book reader or fan to appreciate...more
I didn’t need the dust jacket to tell me that the author is a professor at Case Western Reserve University. Almost 70 pages of notes at the back of the book would have told me that--plus the near-obsessive collection of minutiae and the attempt to elevate the subject matter to quasi-cosmic significance. Those are hallmarks of an academic tome, one likely to delight only hard-core comics buffs.

The basic story of wordsmith Jerry Siegel and illustrator Joe Shuster--two hard-luck Jewish kids who bra...more
Andy Shuping
Everyone is familiar with the story of Superman. The alien from the destroyed planet Krytpon who battles the forces of evil on his adopted home, Earth, and his love Lois Lane. But what about the creators of Superman -- Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster? What do we know of them? That's what this elegantly researched book seeks to answer.

Many readers have heard the Joe and Jerry sold their creation, the greatest superhero ever, for a measly $130 back in 1938, but...what about the rest of their lives? B...more
Kris Potratz
Thank you to NetGalley, the author and publisher for allowing me the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Let me just say to start - that this was a very thorough book. VERY thorough. I am a fan of the Superman saga but you need to be a serious fan of Superman and even just of comic books in general to really appreciate this biography. Brad Ricca fished out every detail of the journey of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster and I mean every.single.possible.detail. I found myself ski...more
An interesting historical account of the creators of Superman. I must say, the life of these two teenage boys are also quite interesting. The author draws parallelisms between the life of Superman (and the characters that exist in his world) and those of Jerry and Joe, how their lives translated into their seminal creation.

The sad thing is that these two "superboys" are not given their due credit (and multi-million dollars in profit) by the giant corporate machinery who "bought" the Superman cha...more
Beau Smith
Interesting and well written. I would enjoy seeing more young comic book readers discover this and would also like to see more comic book creators check it out so that they will know more about what can happen when you create a character.

Beau Smith
The Flying Fist Ranch
Mike Gabor
A wonderful dual biography of Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, the creators of Superman. The author gives us a detailed account of their early lives, how they met, how their friendship formed. He tells us about their early endeavors in the world of comics, the way the character of Superman was developed and who the model for Lois Lane is. He also details for us their life long fight to recieve their fair share of profits from the Superman character as they originally sold their rights to Superman t...more
In the 1930s, after receiving many rejection slips, the creators of Superman virtually jumped at the chance to sign a contract. In doing so, without benefit of counsel or agent, they were gypped out of millions in royalty payments. The contract made them mere publication syndicate employees. Most interesting is how these two post-teenagers transformed ideas, acquaintances and names into the meld of characters that became dazzling cartoon stars, especially for the syndicate. This biography detail...more
Everything you want to know about these two guys and the early development of comics. Really enjoyed the history lesson and bringing everything up to date on all the legal actions etc. Very well researched and informative.
Billy Hogan
While the story of the success and struggles of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster was very familiar to me, "Super Boys" filled in the details about their lives so that it felt like I was reading the story of their lives for the first time. This was a very well researched book, and I would highly recommend it to any Superman fan.
Raza Syed
An interesting and detailed biography of the Co-Creators of Superman. It follows the story of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster from before birth to after death; in the context of their Greatest Creation SUPERMAN. I leaned a lot of things about comics, their evolution and ofcourse about Superman. However, one major issue with this book - too much detail !

The books gets very slow and draggy on a regular basis. I like details and explanations but not at the expense of a smooth flow of the book.

If you a...more
The incredible story of two Jewish boys in Cleveland, Ohio who create the most iconic character in pop culture.
Sons of immigrants, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster distilled the essence of their upbringing, knowledge and the zeitgeist of the U.S. to create Superman.
Although I enjoyed most of the book, it lost a bit of momentum in the last chapter which involved the legal wranglings of the estates of Siegel and Shuster and the "never ending battle" with DC comics and Warner Bros. as to the ownership...more
A good biography is hard to put down. A good double bio about the creators of superheroes is even more challenging to put down.

This was an excellent read- especially if you are into comics, superheroes (of any variety), or just generally enjoy a well researched and well written bio.

Siegel and Shuster have (sadly) been nearly forgotten, simply because, unlike Stan Lee or Bob Kane, their names stopped appearing as a byline on their creation. This book did a fantastic job explaining why and how th...more
I have finished reading this book and boy did I loved reading it. Mr. Ricca has done a fantastic job with dealing the lives of Siegel and Shuster in their individual lives to when Superman was created 75 years ago. I had to read it after seeing Man of Steel which I had saw twice and it is an awesome film.

There is a lot that I will not reveal, you must read it for yourself. All I can say is definitely read this book. Even if you aren't a Superman fan, it is required reading for those who love Co...more
Derek Royal
An interesting biography of Siegel and Shuster, although a more personal one. By "personal" I mean that Ricca gets inside the head, so to speak, of his subjects in ways you usually don't find in more "objective" biographies. There may be a little bit if creative license in a few passages, but overall, a strong read. Two complaints, though: 1) The author needs to understand the true definition of the word "infamous," and 2) This book's editor should have caught the many "infamous" slips.
Michael Poteet
You can check out my full review at The Sci-Fi Christian (, but, bottom line, this is an outstanding book. An excellent example of how to write biography, with a real novelistic flair, backed up by exhaustive research and mastery of the material. Fantastic reading not only for Superman fans but also for students of 20th century popular culture. Highly recommended.
Kallen Kentner
Super Boys is not the story of the famed Man of Steel, but of his creators; Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. It is the story of imagination, persistence, success, disillusionment and legacy.

Read the full review on GeekyLibrary.
Andrew Rodgers
Fascinating book about a quirky corner of American pop culture. As a soon-to-be MBA graduate, incidentally, it made me practically nauseous to read about the lop-sided deal for the rights to Superman that Shuster and Siegel signed.
I really struggled to complete this book. It was interesting and all but the author seemed to be reaching to make the story of the authors something more than it was.
Jennifer Abella
3.5. Really enjoyed. Accessible, even for a casual comics reader. Less inside baseball than in Marvel: The Untold Story, which I also liked.
Not that interesting, and hard to get into the narrative. Ten Cent Plague is a much better retelling of the origins of the comic book industry.
I already knew all about the mythos of Superman, but knew next to nothing about his creators. Interesting, and sometimes sad stuff.
Tom Burkert
The story of the team that created the greatest Canadian superhero of all time!
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