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Superman Chronicles

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McMaster University
Douglas Bruce

Superman Chronicles: Volume 1 (1938/1939) - Joe Shuster (1914 – 1992) o Toronto - Jerome Siegel (1914 – 1996) o Cleveland Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel - Shuster moved to Ohio at age 9 - Siegel and Shuster met in 1931, went to same high school - Loved science fiction (Little Nemo (1905 – 1911), Tarzan, Flash Gordon, Secret Agent X-9, John Carter of Mars, The Shadow DC Detective Comics and Cultural Icons - Batman (1939) o Created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger o Also dual identity, Bruce Wayne o Fights crime - Wonder Woman (1942) o William Marston o Female Amazon warrior o Greek myth and classical antiquity o Fought in Trojan war o Here WWII context - Superboy (1938) o Siegel o First appeared n 1944/1945 o Shuster did the drawings, the art Superman: Context of 1938/1939 - First original movie (1941) 1. Early twentieth century: wish fulfilment – body images/ modernity - Immigrant background/ new man o Clark Kent leaves his old life behind to make a new one for himself on Earth o Dualism: common man on one hand and a powerful man on the other  Similar to Oz in The Wizard of Oz - Anti-semitism and the “Jew’s body” (Sander Gilman) Modernity - Cars and technology - New developments in science and technology o – optimism as well as fear... there’s a mad scientist later - Legendary mythical hero - Umberto Eco, (1932, The Name of the Rose *1986+ in 1962 article “The Myth of Superman o “He is kind, handsome, modest, and helpful; his life is dedicated to the battle against the forces of evil; and the police find him an untiring collaborator.” - Champion of the oppressed. The physical marvel who had sworn to devote his existence to helping those in need. (4) - End: Foster parents say: “When the proper time comes, you must use it to assist humanity.” (195) - “The Man of Tomorrow”.. the man of the future in other words (203) Modernism and World War II - 1941 propaganda Our Superman 1938/1939 - Themes: capitalism and corruption, intrigue, wrong people executed, safety issues in a mine - First and Second s
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