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Our Hero: Superman on Earth

Our Hero: Superman on Earth

Author: Tom De Haven

Published by: Yale University Press (March 2, 2010)

Reviewed by: Steve Younis

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"Our Hero: Superman on Earth" is not Tom De Haven's first book about the Man of Steel. However it is his first non-fiction book about Superman.

De Haven wrote the widely acclaimed novel "It's Superman!", and returns to the subject material with "Our Hero", but this time from a historical stand point.

Where "It's Superman!" was set inside the fictional world of Superman, "Our Hero" examines the creation and continued growth of the Man of Steel in the real world. De Haven takes a 'no holds barred' approach to examining the stories behind the stories.

The book looks at every aspect of the Superman franchise from the character's creation at the hands of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the early comic book days, the radio series, "The Adventures of Superman" on TV, "Super Friends", the ever changing comic books, the Christopher Reeve "Superman" movies, "Lois & Clark" on TV, "Smallville", "Superman Returns", merchandising, and legal battles.

De Haven gives his unflinching opinion on all aspects, examining each era/medium in just enough detail while sighting a vast array of external reading material to whet your appetite for more, yet finishing the book feeling satisfied that he'd covered pretty much every aspect of the character's 70 year history without leaving anything out.

If you're looking for a book that delves into the history behind Superman over the years, but aren't into reading hefty tomes or encyclopedia-type reference books, "Our Hero: Superman on Earth" is the book for you. It's well worth the read and is an easy book to get through. The book is one long narrative, rather than being broken up into specific chapters, yet it is easy and enjoyable reading.

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