It's Superman!

( 18 )

Overview

The world's most popular and enduring super hero and acclaimed novelist Tom De Haven come together to create the extraordinary It's Superman!a novel that reinvents the early years of the Man of Steel. Opening with the young Clark Kent on a date, the novel takes an entirely fresh approach to the emergence of his superpowers and the start of his newspaper career, following him from rural 1930s Kansas across america to Hollywood in its golden age, and then to New York City. He meets a worldly Lois Lane and conniving...

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Overview

The world's most popular and enduring super hero and acclaimed novelist Tom De Haven come together to create the extraordinary It's Superman!a novel that reinvents the early years of the Man of Steel. Opening with the young Clark Kent on a date, the novel takes an entirely fresh approach to the emergence of his superpowers and the start of his newspaper career, following him from rural 1930s Kansas across america to Hollywood in its golden age, and then to New York City. He meets a worldly Lois Lane and conniving political boss Lex Luthor, and begins his battles against criminal masterminds, mad scientists, and supervillains inspired by fascists. Sure to appeal to fans of the TV show Smallville and the novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, as well as devoted comic book readers, It's Superman is a fun and fast-paced novel of thrilling invention, heroic escapades, ill-fitting costumes, and super-sized coming-of-age angst.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review
"The cartoon world of "It's Superman!" is often as delightful as the original created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Colors, sounds and emotions are exaggerated to great, infectious effect, so that when Superman is sent hurtling through the air by an explosion, we thrill to the ride. "It's Superman!" may be short on allegorical truths, but the smart money says De Haven's cartoon world will entertain readers for a long time to come."
Josh Emmons
Colors, sounds and emotions are exaggerated to great, infectious effect, so that when Superman is sent hurtling through the air by an explosion, we thrill to the ride. It's Superman! may be short on allegorical truths, but the smart money says De Haven's cartoon world will entertain readers for a long time to come.
— The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
A focus on Clark Kent's high school years only makes comparison to the popular WB show Smallville all the more inevitable-and intentional. De Haven, whose Derby Dugan trilogy beautifully reimagined 20th-century American history through a pleasant sheen of media-tized irony, presents the man of steel as a sullen Depression-era teen, a bad WII-era reporter and as ambivalent about his super powers throughout, all with a kind of knowing that reflects a deep immersion in pulp. De Haven drives his coming-of-age tale toward Superman's first showdown with Lex Luthor and his robot "Lexbots" in the middle of (the real!) New York City-prompted, of course, by the need to save Lois Lane. He gets knocked off his feet by the Lexbots and temporarily dazed. He doesn't want to continue, doesn't think he can win. Suddenly, in an echo of recent Batman and Spiderman film adaptations, a disembodied voice rings out: "Now get off that silly chair and go do something. Doesn't matter what. Just do something, Clark." (It's his mother.) If that's not over-the-top enough, plenty of short chapters begin with lines like "Despite Lex Luthor's savvy and sensitive draft report on the Harlem race riot...." De Haven gives readers X-ray vision for determining when his tongue is in his cheek here; using it is great fun.(Nov. 1) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly

Scott Brick gives a super performance in his reading of this revisionist telling of the Superman legend. Set in the 1930s, De Haven's Superman is not the stalwart do-gooder of the comics. He's just a simple, decent guy, with all the faults and doubts of any young man coming of age during the Great Depression. It just so happens he can leap buildings in a single bound, bend steel with his bare hands..., etc. His journey from Smallville to Hollywood then New York City, where he meets Lois Lane, and his arch nemesis Lex Luthor makes for a rich, multilayered novel. From Brick's enthusiastic reading of the book's title, which is reminiscent of the old Saturday morning serials, it is clear that he fully embraces this material. Brick smoothly handles the novel's descriptive passages, loaded with historical and pop culture references to create an authentic sense of time and place. His characterizations are spot on, whether it's the arrogant smugness of Luthor, the shy, polite stammering of farm boy Kent or the plucky assertiveness of Lois Lane, Brick shines throughout. This is an audiobook not to be missed. Ballantine paperback (Reviews, Sept. 26, 2005). (Jan.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
KLIATT - Nola Theiss
Based on the often-retold story of Superman, this modern novel focuses on the adolescence and early manhood of Clark Kent as he first comes to terms with his super powers. Considering how well known Superman's story is to most Americans, who have grown up with the comic books, the movies and the TV series, De Haven is able to bring originality, wit and insight to the story. He creates an empathetic character in Clark Kent, gives even more pepper to the saucy Lois Lane character we all know, makes Lex Luthor even more brilliant and more evil than we've come to expect, and adds a number of other well drawn friends and enemies to surround the main characters. Perhaps the best part of the story is the author's recreation of America in the 1930s, from Kent's hometown of Smallville to New York City, which sheds its thin disguise of Metropolis. There is enough action to fill a video game, but the reactions of the characters, especially Clark Kent, are what make this a great read. For YAs who can expand their reading insights from the comics to this well-written satire/adventure/period piece of contemporary literature.
Kirkus Reviews
The formative years of the Man of Steel, in a rib-tickling melodrama set in Depression-era America. De Haven's knowledgeable assimilation of U.S. pop culture (displayed in such memorable entertainments as Funny Papers (1985) and Dugan Under Ground (2001) is well-suited to the familiar comic-book tale of Kansas farm kid Clark Kent's loving relationship with his adoptive parents, astonished discovery of the superpowers embedded in "his puzzling, uncomfortable, intimidating body" and gradual acceptance of his role saving the world from malefactors while disguised as a mild-mannered, slightly geeky newspaper reporter. De Haven skillfully juggles parallel narratives, shifting among Clark's attention-getting early heroics (e.g., catching a speeding bullet in midair), Lois Lane's rapid climb up the big-city journalism ladder (interrupted by romantic friendships, one with Polish-American photographer Willi Berg, whose path also crosses Clark's) and criminal mastermind (A)lex(ander) Luthor's ascent to prominence as NYC alderman and evil genius whose plans to control the world involve deploying a fleet of semi-indestructible robots. Shades of Fritz Lang's Metropolis, then, as well as the comics' world of cartoonish overkill. De Haven gradually brings Clark out of Kansas, as he rides the rails across America, discovers his humanity (and vulnerability) along with his ability to fly, encounters perpetually endangered Lois (later his reluctant colleague at the Daily Planet) and resists the criminal blandishments of Lex Luthor (who, in a wicked biblical parody, attempts to seduce our hero by promising, "I'll give you the world"). There's a little too much of everything here-stalwart public servants,sleazy underworld goons, greedy and murderous molls. But the narrative excess is irresistible, and De Haven anchors it resonantly in Clark's fears "that he's not quite genuine, that he's a made-up character in a story."Comic noir with a super-keen edge, in De Haven's best book yet.
From the Publisher
De Haven's Derby Dugan trilogy Funny Papers, 1988; Derby Dugan's Depression Funnies 1996; Dugan under Ground, 2001 presaged Michael Chabon's Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (2000) and outdid it by encompassing the history of comics from early newspaper strips to the undergrounds of the sixties. De Haven now undertakes an authorized re-imagining of the early years of Superman. De Haven convincingly and touchingly depicts the young Clark Kent's apprehensions and insecurities as he comes to terms with his extraordinary abilities in 1930s rural Kansas. Concurrently, he tracks Lois Lane's beginnings in journalism and the plotting for power of New York City political boss Lex Luthor (no "Metropolis" masquerade here). While hewing to the basic outline of the venerable Superman mythos his intergalactic background, his straight-arrow upbringing in Smallville, and his blue-and-red costume De Haven finds ways to make even its more outlandish elements work. If it doesn't quite transcend its origins, De Haven's novel shows that, nearly 70 years after his creation, the Man of Steel still has plenty to offer. -Booklist

A focus on Clark Kent's high school years only makes comparison to the popular WB show Smallville all the more inevitable and intentional. De Haven, whose Derby Dugan trilogy beautifully re-imagined 20th-century American history through a pleasant sheen of media-tized irony, presents the Man of Steel as a sullen Depression-era teen, a bad WWII-era reporter and as ambivalent about his super powers throughout, all with a kind of knowing that reflects a deep immersion in pulp. De Haven drives his coming-of-age tale toward Superman's first showdown with Lex Luthor and his robot "Lexbots" in the middle of (the real!) New York City prompted, of course, by the need to save Lois Lane. He gets knocked off his feet by the Lexbots and temporarily dazed. He doesn't want to continue, doesn't think he can win. Suddenly, in an echo of recent Batman and Spiderman film adaptations, a disembodied voice rings out: "Now get off that silly chair and go do something. Doesn't matter what. Just do something, Clark." (It's his mother.) If that's not over-the-top enough, plenty of short chapters begin with lines like "Despite Lex Luthor's savvy and sensitive draft report on the Harlem race riot..." De Haven gives readers X-ray vision for determining when his tongue is in his cheek here; using it is great fun. -Publishers Weekly

The formative years of the Man of Steel, in a rib-tickling melodrama set in Depression-era America. De Haven's knowledgeable assimilation of U.S. pop culture (displayed in such memorable entertainments as "Funny Papers" 1985 and "Dugan Under Ground" 2001) is well-suited to the familiar comic-book tale of Kansas farm kid Clark Kent's loving relationship with his adoptive parents, astonished discovery of the superpowers embedded in "his puzzling, uncomfortable, intimidating body" and gradual acceptance of his role saving the world from malefactors while disguised as a mild-mannered, slightly geeky newspaper reporter. De Haven skillfully juggles parallel narratives, shifting among Clark's attention-getting early heroics (e.g., catching a speeding bullet in midair), Lois Lane's rapid climb up the big-city journalism ladder (interrupted by romantic friendships, one with Polish-American photographer Willi Berg, whose path also crosses Clark's) and criminal mastermind (A)lex(ander) Luthor's ascent to prominence as NYC alderman and evil genius whose plans to control the world involve deploying a fleet of semi-indestructible robots. Shades of Fritz Lang's "Metropolis," then, as well as the comics' world of cartoonish overkill. De Haven gradually brings Clark out of Kansas, as he rides the rails across America, discovers his humanity (and vulnerability) along with his ability to fly, encounters perpetually endangered Lois (later his reluctant colleague at the <

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781615581511
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
  • Publication date: 11/1/2005
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom De Haven is the author of eight novels, including the Derby Dugan trilogy, hailed a wild ride" by the Boston Globe and "brimming with life and characters" by the New York Times Books Review. A frequent contributor to Entertainment Weekly and the New

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
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