Superman Is Jewish?: How Comic Book Superheroes Came to Serve Truth, Justice, and the Jewish-American Way

Harry Brod, Author
Harry Brod. Free Press, $25 (240p) ISBN 978-1-41659-530-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-4526-0815-0
MP3 CD - 978-1-4526-5815-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-4526-3815-7
Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-4165-9845-9
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A veteran comic book fan, Brod, a professor of philosophy and humanities at the University of Northern Iowa, uncovers the connection between America’s most popular comic superheroes and their Jewish creators in a surprising series of cultural and psychological links. The author notes there is a common characteristic among the Jewish artists who developed the superheroes akin to the Jewish studio heads in the early days of Hollywood: “The Jewish men who created Supermen were men who were themselves seen as not measuring up to the standards of what real men were supposed to be.” What is fascinating is Brod’s detailed take on the many Old Country values and Yiddish traditions used to forge the templates for Superman, Batman, the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, and such. From the themes of golems, aliens, and outsiders, the WASP identities of Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, Stan Lee, and Jack Kirby permitted them to revolutionize the American comic book industry, allowing youngsters to fantasize cartoon struggles of good vs. evil in every issue. On his highly enjoyable trek through popular comics, Brod’s subjects become a metaphor for the immigrant experience in America. (Nov.)
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