New Book “Adapting Superman: Essays on the Transmedia Man of Steel”

Adapting Superman

McFarland Books recently published a new book titled “Adapting Superman: Essays on the Transmedia Man of Steel”.

Almost immediately after his first appearance in comic books in June 1938, Superman began to be adapted to other media. The subsequent decades have brought even more adaptations of the Man of Steel, his friends, family, and enemies in film, television, comic strip, radio, novels, video games, and even a musical. The rapid adaptation of the Man of Steel occurred before the character and storyworld were fully developed on the comic book page, allowing the adaptations an unprecedented level of freedom and adaptability.

The essays in this collection provide specific insight into the practice of adapting Superman from comic books to other media and cultural contexts through a variety of methods, including social, economic, and political contexts. Authors touch on subjects such as the different international receptions to the characters, the evolution of both Clark Kent’s character and Superman’s powers, the importance of the radio, how the adaptations interact with issues such as racism and Cold War paranoia, and the role of fan fiction in the franchise. By applying a wide range of critical approaches to adaption and Superman, this collection offers new insights into our popular entertainment and our cultural history.

Adapting Superman: Essays on the Transmedia Man of Steel [Paperback]
by John Darowski (Editor)
Publisher: McFarland
(May 21, 2021)
Language: English
Paperback: 287 pages
ISBN-10: 1476677255

Purchase “Adapting Superman: Essays on the Transmedia Man of Steel” from has a Paperback or for your Kindle.

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July 7, 2021 10:16 pm

The use of the Superman IV poster I interesting…

July 8, 2021 12:54 pm

“Transmedia”????? Yea…….sure.

July 9, 2021 12:03 am
Reply to  redcape

“trans-” prefix from the Latin, meaning “across or opposite from”.
Superman as a character is “across media”; comics, novels, radio, television- both animated and live action, films- same criteria, video games, and I personally own a “rock comic” record. It’s a grammatically accurate term.

July 9, 2021 11:38 am
Reply to  afriend

True. No one owns the prefix anymore than Hasbro owns the word “transform”. (Though I’m sure they would like to the way Marvel wished they owned the letter X.)

At the same time though it does sound sorta made-up and I admit I had to do a double take myself. ..but I guess they were grasping for a very short and sweet way to say “Essays on the Man of Steel in media outside of comicbooks.” and have it fit nicely on a cover.

Last edited 1 year ago by MattComics
July 11, 2021 2:01 am

I miss Reeve’s Superman. I wish that Richard Donner had made a version of Superman III. I can’t help but wonder what it would have looked like. Sadly it’s just one of those things that we’ll never see happen. Not on film at least. There’s the Superman78 comics coming out, but does anyone know if Richard Donner had any involvement with this comic series before he passed away?

Last edited 1 year ago by Superman2878
July 12, 2021 1:04 pm
Reply to  Superman2878

I don’t know if you’ve seen Donner’s S2. There is a BIG difference between Lester’s and his. I remember reading an article back then with Reeve and it was before 3 was even started. He really didn’t want to do it. He’d said he felt Superman had done it all at that point. But he gave in as I suppose 3 looked better on paper than how it came out on the big screen. Lester went “Otis” with both, 2 and 3. More so with 3 because it was a brand new without any attachments from Donner. Pethaps if Donner… Read more »

July 13, 2021 10:30 am
Reply to  redcape

Yeah I have seen the Donner cut of Superman II. And while I also like the other Superman II film, I think I like Donner’s take just a little bit more. The Superman 3 and 4 sequels I admit to be a guilty pleasure. While the story, production and quality for 3 and especially 4 doesn’t even come close to the original movie, seeing Reeve as Superman in those films makes it worth watching in my opinion. I do wonder if we’ll ever see any story board concepts for what could’ve been Donner’s third Superman film. If I remember correctly… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Superman2878
July 13, 2021 11:11 am
Reply to  Superman2878

I have a memory of Donner in an interview saying “we could have kept going”. So I get a sense that he would have liked to have at least done a couple more but also probably hated the thought of having to deal with the Salkinds or Spengler again in order to do it.

July 13, 2021 11:35 am
Reply to  MattComics

I’ve heard a bit of that as well. Ah, what could’ve been.

I know that it wouldn’t be the same without Richard directing it but maybe if they could bring back his vision for an HBOmax series. Like how they’re doing it for the Superman78 comics but maybe make a show for it. Of coarse Brandon Routh would be my choice for that series.

Last edited 1 year ago by Superman2878