'Superman,' by Larry Tye: review SupermanThe High-Flying History of America's Most Enduring HeroBy Larry Tye(Random House; 409 pages; $27)Superman has the name recognition and approval rating that politicians would kill for, plus the income. He's been eclipsed in wisecracking irony by Spider-Man and the X-Men, out-camped by Batman and given a reality check by Everyman Homer Simpson. In a world where young people are locked between the smirking sensibilities of Matt Groening and Quentin Tarantino, Superman is as indestructible as the cockroach. The High-Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero, Larry Tye is in thrall to a character who, for all the good that he's done, has as much humanity as the Oscar statuette. The former Boston Globe reporter's homage reads like a marathon newspaper article fueled by sustained ardor for a boyhood love. Superman, true to form, weathers every shift to a new medium as if it's a costume change - from comics, to ingenious animation by Max and Dave Fleischer, to radio (voiced by Bud Collyer from the TV classic "To Tell the Truth"), to television's wooden George Reeves, back to comics, to camp on Broadway, to cinema, to television again and to film sequel after film sequel. Mort Weisinger, an obese autocrat who terrorized the writers and artists of Superman comics from 1957 to 1970, had a "know your readers" rule that Superman's market was boys from 8 to 12 years old, who would grow out of their ardor for superheroes fast enough to justify recycling stories every few years. Yet his blue suit seemed drab, as comics from the 1950s on explored more real and more frightening worlds than anything the Man of Steel faced, into Mad magazine spoofs, R.

BING NEWS:
  • Larry Tye: Superman, born of Jewish roots
    He didn’t look Jewish. Not with his perfect pug nose, electric blue eyes, and a boyish spit curl that suggested Anglo, as well as Saxon. No hint in his sleek movie-star name, Clark Kent, which could only belong to a gentile. His social circle didn’t ...
    11/28/2013 - 4:19 pm | View Link
  • Quiz: Superman at 75 — how well do you know the Man of Steel?
    and never wavers from the light or is sidetracked by anxieties,” said Larry Tye, who wrote “Superman: The High-Flying History of America’s Most Enduring Hero.” Tye told Hero Complex that Superman’s history reflects America’s history.
    03/26/2013 - 10:39 pm | View Link
  • Author to speak on Jewish origins of Superman
    HAVERHILL — Growing up, Larry Tye sat in awe watching George Reeves on TV as Superman fly through the air, helping those in need and beating up bullies. Tye’s fascination grew stronger after writing “The Father of Spin: Edward L. Bernays and the ...
    02/1/2013 - 4:06 pm | View Link
  • Larry Tye's powerful 'Superman' broadens into war, politics and religion
    The book is full of entertaining detail, such as actor Reeves' penchant for calling his daily cocktail his "olive." I was startled to read that Margot Kidder, who played Lois Lane in the 1978 film, had to fantasize about Harrison Ford to make her romantic ...
    07/15/2012 - 4:33 am | View Link
  • ‘Superman,’ by Larry Tye
    “Superman!” gasps Lois Lane, freshly scooped from beneath the nodding carbines of a South American firing squad. “Right!” says the boxy blue-and-red figure who holds her in his arms. “And still playing the role of gallant rescuer!” His mouth is ...
    07/4/2012 - 1:00 pm | View Link
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