PN 6727 .S515487 Z84 2013
“Huddled over a kitchen table in Cleveland during the Great Depression, two best friends created one of the most iconic characters in all of popular culture – Superman. Now, for the first time, read the amazing true story of how and why Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the poor sons of Jewish immigrants, created the first and greatest superhero.
Drawing on ten years of research in dusty libraries and in secret comics hoards, Super Boys offers a comprehensive literary biography of Jerry and Joe, revealing their first work ever published, the shocking source for the first Superman tale, and who the inspiration for Lois Lane really was. Super Boys shows how the lives and adventures of “Jerry and Joe” were inextricably linked to those of the characters they created: the lost homeland, the heartbreaking love triangle, the betrayals among allies, a mystical cult, the imperfect replica of the hero – all the way from the inner circles of Hitler’s SS to FBI headquarters – it was all real. Super Boys follows their mysterious lives after Superman, their methodical, impossible rise to fame, and later their almost instant obscurity. Brad Ricca recounts Siegel’s secret service during World War II, the reclusive Shuster’s desperate project to help his sister, and the boys’ last, jaw-dropping collaboration, and tells the definitive story of how Siegel’s father died – and who might have been responsible.
Super Boys chronicles the real facts and motives behind their signing away all the rights to Superman to a smart, cigar-chomping publisher for a mere $130. That single payment led to decades of vicious legal and public debate over creator rights and copyright, culminating in a tense courtroom drama where small families would clash with a massive corporation for control, reward, and respect.
This is the story of a lifelong friendship between two boys who grew to be men, and the character they created, which would become the first piece of a sophisticated pantheon of modern mythology. Siegel and Shuster’s inspirational, tragic, and unbelievable story, set against the backdrop of the greater part of the twentieth century, reveals the promise and cost of the American Dream – played out in a world of capes, tights, and secret identities that challenged the very limits of imaginative art.” – publisher description