Samantha Gomez's Reviews > Was Superman a Spy?: And Other Comic Book Legends Revealed

Was Superman a Spy? by Brian Cronin
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Jul 03, 09

Read in July, 2009

I first heard about this book from Scott McCloud's twitter (a person I really recommend everyone follow on there) and he basically touted it as being, and I'm paraphrasing, "the one non-comic every comic book lover must own." And after picking it up randomly one day, I definitely have to agree with this sentiment. Not only is it well-written and entertaining, it offers unique insight into some of the biggest "urban legends" in the comic book industry, not to mention it also gives you an interesting perspective on its history.

I have always loved learning about how comics got their start in the 30s, and most books tell you about it in spades. The problem with that, which I realized while reading Was Superman a Spy? is that I knew almost nothing about Marvel's beginning, which really started in earnest in the 60s. Brian Cronin fixes that for me, which gives me a whole new perspective on the two major companies, DC and Marvel. And don't think that Cronin only focuses on them as he does give plenty of room for companies like Dark Horse and Valiant to shine in his book.

All in all, I think this is a book every comic aficionado should read. It's well-thought out and you learn a number of surprising fact like who inspired Elvis' look. The answer may surprise you as it surprised me! One thing I would have like to have in this book, though it did not detract my enjoyment of it, was a definitive look on what happened with Alan Moore and his series Marvelman that was just shot down in its prime. We all know the stories, but perhaps finding out any inconsistencies would have been fun. That is a small wish, though, and hardly a criticism.

Go get this one! Highly recommended.
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message 1: by David (new)

David I have trouble with twitter. No one acknowledges me there. Same as FB too.

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