Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Superman Smashes the Klan” as Want to Read:
Superman Smashes the Klan
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Superman Smashes the Klan

(Superman Smashes the Klan #1-3)

4.55  ·  Rating details ·  2,763 ratings  ·  631 reviews
The year is 1946, and the Lee family has moved from Chinatown to Downtown Metropolis. While Dr. Lee is eager to begin his new position at the Metropolis Health Department, his two kids, Roberta and Tommy, are more excited about being closer to the famous superhero Superman!

Tommy adjusts quickly to the fast pace of their new neighborhood, befriending Jimmy Olsen and joining
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published May 12th 2020 by DC Zoom
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Superman Smashes the Klan, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
⭐️Cordelia⭐️ There was a very strong we’re all in this together vibe, “we all share the same tomorrow” is an example line. It also stresses that superman is an im…more There was a very strong we’re all in this together vibe, “we all share the same tomorrow” is an example line. It also stresses that superman is an immigrant as well. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,763 ratings  ·  631 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Superman Smashes the Klan
Adam Stone
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If Superman spent more time fighting Nazis, Klan members, and Venture Capitalists Politicians like Lex Luthor, I would read Superman comics on a regular basis.

This all-ages book, based on an old radio play, is The Best Superman story I've read in well over a decade.

Of course I agree with the politics behind it, and opening up with Superman punching a Nazi is a great way to get my attention, but it's not the politics that make this story a five star book. It's Yang's mastery of characters. From
I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher (DC Comics) in exchange for an honest review.

This book was SO GOOD! I loved it.

So first off, the artwork is adorable. It worked really well.

I love that the story did not shy away from depicting racism. It shows both the hard core racism of the Klan and the more casual racism of Tommy and Roberta’s friends.

I also liked that the book had an even blend of Tommy and Roberta’s story and Superman’s story. Both storylines were well developed
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

As soon as I saw the title of this graphic novel, I knew I had to have it. Gene Luen Yang is one of my fave comic creators, and he's so versatile. Whether he's penning Avatar: The Last Airbender, autobiographies, or bizarre space operas about alien zoos, I haven't read a thing by him that I didn't like. SUPERMAN SMASHES THE KLAN, I'm happy to say, is no exception.

Apparently, based on the blurb on the back of my ARC, this is based off an
Jul 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Faster than a speeding bullet - More powerful than a locomotive - Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound . . . " -- from the opening narration to the Superman TV series (1952-1958)

Superman Smashes the Klan takes a story that is contemporary in nature and mixes it with a style that references both the Fleischer Studio cartoons of the early 40's and the popular live-action show in the 50's. It's also a true 'graphic novel' - although DC's 'Man of Steel' is firmly in the title he is part of
Sam Quixote
I know DC’s recently started focusing more on their YA books, as well as making sure they’re full of wokeness, so I’ve been staying away from that stuff because I know they’re not for me; YA is generally boring and woke stuff is embarrassing to say the least. But Superman Smashes the Klan sounds like it might be fun in a corny way, and I have enjoyed some of Gene Luen Yang’s comics in the past and Gurihiru’s art is always good, so I gave it a shot. Well, I should’ve just listened to my instincts ...more
Dave Schaafsma
I just read high school teacher and comics great Yang's autobiographical story about his high school basketball team's run at the state championship, but I like this one way better, more complex by far, and a manga told by Yang drawn by Gurihiru. Yang tells us in a pretty succinct afterword essay that talks about the history of comics and American history and racism (and including his own experience of it) that he had once heard about a Superman radio story about Chinese Americans with Superman ...more
Skye Kilaen
Jun 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 0-graphic-novels
It's called "Superman Smashes the Klan," what more do you need? :) This graphic novel read maybe a little young to me, rather than being a true all-ages book that would be as satisfying for adults as for kids, but I had a good time with it anyway and I think my 12 year old is going to find it compelling. Love the historical materials in the back, too. Definitely worth a read! ...more
Jul 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
I really enjoyed this tale of Superman helping out a Chinese-American family in their struggles against the Klan. It's aimed at a younger audience, but I think all ages can enjoy reading this. Besides the strong message against racism, an interesting thing is that this is a Golden Age Superman before he develops most of his powers, so it's interesting to see a different take on Superman.

There is one point I want to mention about how racism is covered in this book. Racism is depicted as being som
This book was so amazing. It's visually appealing, the story is gut-wrenchingly engaging, and so relevant. LOVED IT.
Himanshu Karmacharya
Based on the 1940s radio series, Superman Smashes the Klan features the titular superhero fighting one is the greatest evils that is still prevalent today, racism.

The premise of the story is The Lees, a Chinese-American family facing over racism as they settle in a new community. The parallels between them and Superman has been showcased very effectively. The book doesn't shy away from addressing the aforementioned prejudice, and portrays how it affects people's lives to a great effect.

Drawn wi
Alexander Peterhans
May 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edelweiss
Wonderful graphic novel that is as much about an immigrant Chinese family in 1940s America, as it is about the ultimate immigrant, Superman.

It's 1946, and the Chinese-American family Lee moves from Metropolis' Chinatown to the suburbs. Mr Lee has started a new job at a suspiciously secret governmental department. His son and daughter, Tommy and Roberta, switch to a new school. Soon they awake in horror to a burning cross planted in front of their house.

It's the Klan of the Fiery Kross, obvious s
Jul 27, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
"though our yesterdays may be different, we all share the same tomorrow." -- Gene Luen Yang

Gene Luen Yang has written a graphic novel retelling the story of a popular 16-episode Superman radio show from the 1940s, where Superman battled the Klan, which was terrorizing Chinese families in California. This is the story of the Lee family, who have moved to Metropolis from Chinatown, where they have trouble fitting in. Tommy makes friends because he can play baseball, but the pitcher he replaced is
*Special thanks to DC Comics for letting me read an advance reading copy of Superman Smashes the Klan in exchange for an honest review.

Superman Smashes the Klan by Gene Luen Yang is an #OwnVoices 240 page graphic novel published by DC Comics. The graphic novel is set in 1940s America, a time during increasing racial tensions that gave rise to racially motivated violence. The story follows the lives of Chinese Americans Roberta and Tommy Lee whose family had just moved to Metropolis from Chinatow
James DeSantis
Sep 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Super charming, sweet, and while framed in the 60's and 70s, it's very relevant in today's society.

When the KKK is trying to push out a family of Asian decent Superman tries to stop them. This is a mixture of a origins for Superman and his start up days as a hero but also a tale of acceptances of who you are and what you are. Culture plays a huge factor here and get to see different sides and races from all over and how they deal with hate. While the art is amazing and cute, it still deals with
I love just about anything Gene Luen Yang puts out. He has a good sense of humor, and a good sense of the outrageous, and is so good about pointing out both subtle and overt racism.

In this telling of Superman, based on a radio serial of Superman fighting the klan, Gene shows how life was in 1946 America, when minorities, in this case Chinese-Americans, chose to live somewhere other than Chinatown.

There is also a sub story, of Superman learning his true origin, thrown in for good measure.

Jessica Woodbury
I really enjoyed this. Loved the double plot, extra-loved the notes at the end showing the history of comics, the Klan, race, and the original Superman radio show series of "The Clan of the Fiery Cross" that Yang draws on to build this fuller, modern story. By that point in the story you can see how Yang put so many different threads together. There's a surprising amount of nuance here, about how someone can be good to you but bad to others, about how powerful people can use hate to fuel their o ...more
Rod Brown
After a slow start this settles into a decent tale about Superman coming to terms with his alien origins while dealing with a racist group called Klan of the Fiery Kross, a stand-in for the Ku Klux Klan. For the younger readers to relate to, there is a young Chinese American girl who struggles to fit into her new neighborhood and school and whose family is targeted by the Klan.

The actual story is a bit generic on the surface, but I appreciated the themes of self-hatred, conformity, and acceptanc
Rory Wilding
May 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Superman gets a lot of flak from people who aren’t familiar with the character, and it largely comes down to him to being an all-powerful alien we can’t relate to. This may be a cliché, but never judge a book by its cover, as the best writers to tackle the Man of Steel – such as Grant Morrison writing All-Star Superman – have proven that he is a beacon of light that represents the positive side of humanity as he determines to save everyone, no matter what corners of the world they’re from. That ...more
I've heard/read/seen a lot about how the KKK affected African Americans, but not how they affected Asian-Americans. It makes sense since bigots don't discriminate in their hatred. I liked how it subtly addresses race relations between Asian- and African-Americans. I wish it had been explored more, but that's an entirely different story made for an entirely different (graphic) novel. I also liked how the author and illustrator pointed out how racist movies portrayed Asian characters. Again, anoth ...more
Ryan Stewart
Heartbreaking and heartwarming, humbling and empowering, classic and fresh. A wonderful, timeless lesson told beautifully. And it’s less preachy and more nuanced than you might think.
Nov 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
I'm not surprised that Gene Luen Yang writes such a powerful story for Superman. What surprises me is the historical info about Superman in the back. Apparently I missed the boat that Superman has been fighting the Klan about as long as he has existed. A+ story writing, A+ illustrations, and A+ on making sure I'll learn something along the way. ...more
Sep 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It's sad that the racism depicted in this book set in 1946 feels so relevant to what's happening right now in 2020.

The book follows two teenage Chinese Americans, Roberta and Tommy Lee as they move from Chinatown to Metropolis and deal with threats from "The Klan of the Fiery Kross" (the completely unsubtle stand-in for the Ku Klux Klan).

While Roberta struggles with her Chinese heritage and wanting to bottle it up and hide it from the world, Tommy takes it in his stride, happily making jokes and
May 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It really doesn't get any better than this. From his unique (Chinese-American Comics writer and historian thereof) perspective, Yang pulls a tale from the old Superman radio show and uses it to hold a mirror up to the Temple of What's Happening Right the Fuck Now. And the result is incredible. Paired with art from the team Guihiru, and kept within older YA requirements, the ensuing story neither comes off as too preachy or too heavy-handed, but keeps the realism intact and the emotion, too. It's ...more
Benji Martin
Jan 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This graphic novel is awesome.
Stephanie Cooke
Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A perfect book for 2020, and to remind us that there’s always hope in the world, even when evil seems to be on the rise.
Sep 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Klan sets up a chapter in Metropolis, forcing Superman--who all his life has unconsciously suppressed all abilities except his strength--to come to terms with his alien-ness.

The art is classic Superman illustration style: clean lines, straightforward perspectives, bright, optimistic primary colors. The writing (also traditionally) is awful: declarative statement chains, random bolded words, and excited overuse of exclamation points! Its presentation makes Superman Smashes the Klan di
Eric Rosswood
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book! It’s inspired by the 1940s Superman radio serial, but the topic is still relevant today and it doesn’t seem dated at all. I highly recommend this story for children and adults, even if they are not into the superhero genre. This book has broader themes about racism, discrimination, and what it means to be an everyday hero.
Erin Cataldi
Jul 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
So very timely! The title instantly caught my eye and I knew I had to read this. This was based on a 16 episode story ark from the forties that showcased Superman taking down the "Clan of the Fiery Cross" on the radio show. It was immensely popular at the time and is credited with stopping a third wave of KKK "power." The story is about a Chinese family who moves to Metropolis and are instantly targeted by the Klan and get a burning cross in their yard. The children are dejected but with the hel ...more
Sean O
Jun 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
After reading “Superman versus The Ku Klux Klan” this was almost required reading.

And man o man, I loved it. In addition to a retelling of the classic radio adventure, it did a lovely job with telling the Superman story and the story of the Lees, in particular, Roberta Lee, who was unnamed in the original radio serial, but takes center stage in this story.

The art was American-Manga style, and the Superman action was classic Fleischer Studios inspired action.

Highly recommended reading for any
The Library Ladies
Jan 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
(originally reviewed at )

Gene Luen Yang is no stranger to Superman. He’s written for Superman before, as well as creating an offshoot character Super-Man that is based in China (and that I have reviewed here on the blog). But I think that “Superman Smashes the Klan” is the Superman story of his that almost immediately caught my eye when I heard it was a thing. I had seen this bouncing around various book and comics circles, and bought it for myself as I love Yang’s work,
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Willmar Public Li...: Superman Smashes the Klan 1 2 Jul 27, 2020 03:36PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren
  • Green Lantern: Legacy
  • Wonder Woman: Dead Earth
  • Flamer
  • Loki: The God Who Fell to Earth
  • Black Widow, Volume 2: The Tightly Tangled Web
  • Shadow of the Batgirl
  • Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen: Who Killed Jimmy Olsen?
  • Ezra's BIG Shabbat Question
  • The Hard Tomorrow
  • When You Trap a Tiger
  • Murder on the Rockport Limited!  (The Adventure Zone Graphic Novels #2)
  • The Vision
  • The Killing Light (The Sacred Throne, #3)
  • The Witches Are Coming
  • Space Struck
See similar books…
Gene Yang began drawing comic books in the fifth grade. In 1997, he received the Xeric Grant, a prestigious comics industry grant, for Gordon Yamamoto and the King of the Geeks, his first comics work as an adult. He has since written and drawn a number of titles, including Duncan's Kingdom (with art by Derek Kirk Kim) and The Rosary Comic Book. American Born Chinese received National Book Award.


Other books in the series

Superman Smashes the Klan (3 books)
  • Superman Smashes the Klan #1
  • Superman Smashes the Klan #2
  • Superman Smashes the Klan #3

Related Articles

  Ellen Oh is an award-winning author of middle grade and young adult novels such as Spirit Hunters, The Dragon Egg Princess, and A Thousand...
75 likes · 9 comments