Eric Mesa's Reviews > Superman: The Unauthorized Biography

Superman by Glen Weldon
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review

really liked it

I already knew almost all of this; well, the outline, anyway. I've been reading comics on and off for three decades and ever since discovering sites like Comic Vine and reading Grant Morrison's Supergods, it's been easy to learn about plots and trends that took place when I wasn't reading. (Or even before I was born) In fact, it's almost requesite when reading Grant Morrison's comic work if you want to understand all the references. And for the way that I and my infrequent collaborators on write, it's important to understand the history of the characters or writers. But what Waldon provides is a great sense of context for all the trends in Superman's history. He provides a through-line that shows how the trends that have buffeted Superman have swung pendulously. He also emphasizes the true essence of Superman and that any deviations from that essence are when changes go too far and end up rejected for they leave us with a hero that is Superman in name only.

My personal history with comics was definitely more in the Marvel pool. When I first started while in Elementary school, Marvel was just more appealing to me. I had seen reruns of the old Fleisher Superman cartoons and I was an avid fan of Paul Dini and Bruce Timm's Batman: The Animate Series. But I didn't get into DC comics until just before the New 52 via Gotham City Sirens and Scott Snyder's Detectic Comics run. (During this time I also discovered and became a HUGE fan of Image Comics via Saga, Chew, and others) Then it was New52 which eventually grew stale with me. (I will credit Dr Chrisy Blanch's MOOC with introducing me to the original Seigel and Schuster conception of Superman and contrasting it with Mark Waid's Birthright origin story) So Waldon's book definitely provided me with lots of details I wasn't familiar with and really made me appreciate the persistence of the hero often derided as the Blue Boyscout.

Whether, like me, you're a comic fan or you just know Superman via his presence in American (and, probably, world) culture - Waldon's decade-by-decade history of Superman will provide you with insights into why he has survived so long.

PS Thanks to my younger brother, Daniel, for gifting me this book for my birthday a couple year ago.
1 like · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Superman.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

July 14, 2017 – Shelved
July 14, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
January 25, 2018 – Started Reading
January 25, 2018 –
14.0% "I knew some of this already, but it's really neat to see Superman's evolution over his first year of publication."
January 27, 2018 –
26.0% "Superman during WW2 and post-war"
January 29, 2018 –
44.0% "Superman in the 60s. Didn't know Lex in Smallville went back that far."
January 30, 2018 –
60.0% "Mid-80s - I can't wait to see the commentary on the modern period"
January 31, 2018 –
60.0% "Got to Crisis 1 and Alan Moore's and John Byrne's stories in the 80s"
January 31, 2018 –
66.0% "Forgot to change the percentage - in the mid to late 80s"
February 1, 2018 –
70.0% "So Superman died because of the Dean Cain show I loved"
February 2, 2018 –
83.0% "Into the 2000s"
February 3, 2018 – Finished Reading

No comments have been added yet.