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The Superhero Reader$
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Charles Hatfield, Jeet Heer, and Kent Worcester

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781617038068

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617038068.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 25 February 2020

Men of Tomorrow

Men of Tomorrow

(p.16) Men of Tomorrow
The Superhero Reader

Gerard Jones

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter presents an excerpt from Gerard Jones’ book, Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters and the Birth of the Comic Book (2005), which details the fact that, as science fiction fans, Siegel and Shuster were much taken with Philip Wylie’s novel Gladiator (1930)—one of many early twentieth-century cultural expressions of the idea of the superman. Wylie, however, had a sour and satirical take on the idea of the superior being. He posited that any superior being would be thwarted and defeated by the powerful forces of mass stupidity and venality. If Siegel and Shuster borrowed key ideas from Gladiator, they also transformed those concepts in significant ways, creating a character that embodied a much more positive view of human possibilities.

Keywords:   Philip Wylie, Gladiator, science fiction, superman, superheroes

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