Sunday, May 7, 2023

Book Review: Voices From Krypton

Hailed as possibly the most comprehensive oral history of Superman to be committed to print, Voices From Krypton combines over 85 years of Superman's legacy into a sweeping tale of how the champion of the oppressed became one of the world's most recognizable pop culture icons.

Not only does this epic collection include interviews with Superman favorites like Henry Cavill, Tom Welling, and Zack Snyder, it also dives into the Tim Burton directed Nicholas Cage movie that never happened. You might think you know Superman, but you haven't yet read Voices From Krypton.

This examination of the Man of Steel, coordinated by Edward Gross, releases on May 23, 2023. Narcelle Books provided an early galley for review.

This is a very timely release and perfect for celebrating the 85th anniversary of the iconic hero's debut. I enjoy the use of the talking-head retrospective documentary approach employed here. Gross weaves together the comments from various interviews to form the narrative. And what a collection of interviews are gathered. Not only do we get actors who portrayed the most famous super-hero and creative folks behind those films and shows, we get a ton of comic book writers and artists input as well.

I knew of the radio show and eventually the TV show of the 1950's. I had not realized, however, how much the newspaper strip and merchandising early on contributed to the successful infusion of the character into the consciousness of the masses. The book provides many details on all of these as well as the movie serials of the 1940's, the conflicts between DC Comics and the character's creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, and so much more.

As a life-long comic reader, I especially enjoyed the chapters focusing on the Silver Age comics (1960's) and the Bronze Age comics (1970'). This is where I really discovered the character and his supporting cast. The book also looks at comic period from the post-Crisis relaunch of the character (late 1980's) through the big "Death of Superman" event (late 1990's). And, of course, my favorite of the films - 1978's Superman: The Movie - is given its very own chapter.

This over-700-page book covers all aspects of the comics, the cartoons, the movies and the animated shows. If you're a super-fan of Superman, this book is one you need to read.

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