- Full Description
When Superman debuted in 1938, he ushered in the superhero—Batman, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, Captain America, hundreds of new characters. But what about the many less well-known heroes who lined up to fight crooks, super villains and Hitler? Such as the Shield, the Black Terror, the Golden Age Daredevil, Amazing Man, Cat-Man (and Kitten), Dynamic Man, the Blue Beetle, the Hollywood starlet turned crime fighter The Black Cat? Publisher by publisher, this well-respected author covers in detail 14 offbeat outfits including Centaur, Fox, Prize, Ace, Harvey, Hillman, MLJ, Nedor (Standard), Lev Gleason, etc. Each unique character is examined, even if they made just a solo appearance.
Most have since been overlooked, and not necessarily because they were victims of poor publication. This book gives the other superheroes of the Golden Age of comics their due, with a blow-by-blow look at each one's career and creators, context and oddities.
Other publishers who rate their own chapter: Novelty, Street and Smith, Columbia, Holyoke, Chesler, plus a chapter on everyone else. These guys published such notable titles as Big Shot, The Face, Skyman, The Shadow, Doc Savage, Super-Magician, Captain Aero (by Charles Quinlain), Blue Bolt (by Simon & Kirby) and on and on.
Nerly 450 pages long, this is massive and thorough.
Lou is a comics writer, historian and interviewer with credits at Marvel, Heroic, Claypool, Warrant, Charlton and others. He's extremely knowledgeable and writes with good humor, making this easy to read. Issue by issue, character by character, he takes us from first issues to (sometimes much later) origins, and even post-Golden Age appearances up to the present day. This is not a history of each company and its inner workings, rise and fall. This is about the heroes and heroines, and the men and women who wrote and drew them. Lou's critiques are right-on, as he points out good stories and artwork, vs more forgettable works.
Publisher McFarland has gotten better of late with their high prices, but not so here. $75 really put me off, until I actually saw a copy. This is definately a major book. And although it has no interior color, it has nice large cover reproductions of many of the titles mentioned, more than in other McFarland books. I've just started reading it and I'm already quite happy with it, after just the first chapter (on Centaur).
Lou points out in his introduction that he'd waited years for a book like this, but no one stepped up to the plate. So he did, and I think he's done a superlative job here. As a fan of all these offbeat Golden Age companies, I think it's worth the price of admission.
- Additional Information
Item Code SECSG Publisher McFarland Publish Date 2020 ISBN 9781476675138 Binding Soft Cover Dimensions 7x10 # Pages 438pg Color Text/b&w
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