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Author Topic: Has anyone read phillip wylie's gladiator?  (Read 3202 times)
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Superman's Pal
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« on: October 03, 2007, 10:17:28 PM »

I read the book just because people say the main character its what Siegel and Shuster based some of superman on.  Has anyone else read it?  If so what did you think about?

I found it an interesting read for the story as well as to see its influence on superman.  It probably convinced superman's creator's give him a civilian identity.  One especially influential part occurs towards the end when Hugo Danner lifts a taxi above his head just like Superman would in action comics #1.  I think the second half also really influenced golden age superman's crusading.
Superman Squad
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« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2007, 07:22:19 AM »

No, I've never read it, but I've always been curious about it. I started reading Howard Chaykin's adaptation a few years ago, but somehow missed the end - it was a bit angst-ridden.

Between the revolution and the firing-squad, there is always time for a glass of champagne.
Great Rao
Council of Wisdom
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« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2007, 05:28:22 PM »

I've read it a few times a while ago and remember liking it very much, which is why the book is in the Gift Shop.  I felt like Superman had been taken to the next level of realism, with the main character having much more internal debates and exploring different options about the purpose of his powers.

I disagreed with the apparent philosophical message of the ending, however, and planned to write a sequel to correct it.

"The bottom line involves choices.  Neither gods nor humans have ever stood calmly in a minefield forever.  Good or evil, they are bound to choose.  And when they do, you will see the truth of all that motivates us.  As a thinking being, you have the obligation to choose.  If the fate of all mankind were in your hands, what would your decision be?  As a writer and an artist, I've drawn my answer."   - Jack Kirby
Superman Emergency Squad
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This Ain't No Sippin' Tea

« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2007, 06:40:38 AM »

No, I've never read it, but I've always been curious about it. I started reading Howard Chaykin's adaptation a few years ago, but somehow missed the end - it was a bit angst-ridden.

I found this back in 1997.  Great book.    And the original is seriously angst ridden, but an interesting if not a bit heavy on the "women will just ruin ya" stuff.

There is a bit of controversy about how much Gladiator influenced Siegel.  At the time (in the forties) Siegel claimed to never have read the book but I believe someone was able to dig a review or some mention Siegel made of it in a fanzine.  There was a really nice article about this in an issue of ALTER EGO a few years back. 

Fun fact: Iron Munro from Roy Thomas' Young All-Stars was the son of Hugo Danner.  I actually found those issues quite by coincidence in the same used book store I found Gladiator.

"I now own well over 13,000 comic books.  Most people would call this a hobby.  I prefer to call it was it actually is; a hopeless addiction." -MRB
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