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Superheroes: An American History. “Superheroes were born in the minds of people desperate to be rescued.” ― Jodi Picoult , The Tenth Circle. Superheroes. When might someone use one of these phrases? “Who does he think he is-Superman?” “My spider-sense is tingling!”

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Superheroes: An American History


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  1. Superheroes: An American History “Superheroes were born in the minds of people desperate to be rescued.” ― Jodi Picoult, The Tenth Circle

  2. Superheroes • When might someone use one of these phrases? • “Who does he think he is-Superman?” • “My spider-sense is tingling!” • “Don’t Hulk out over this!”

  3. Superman • The term “superman” translated from the German “ubermensch” was coined by Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900) • He meant the man who would risk all for society • Man is a rope stretched between the animal and the Superman--a rope over an abyss • - Friedrich Nietzsche

  4. Superman • The superhero began in 1931, when Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel met in a Cleveland high school • “I am lying in bed counting sheep when all of a sudden it hits me. I conceive of a character like Samson, Hercules, and all the strong men I have ever heard of all rolled into one. I hop right out of bed and write this down…in the morning I have a complete script.” • Jerry Siegel

  5. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the creators of Superman http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7mKavhee62s/T_VPL1XljiI/AAAAAAAANBo/2uHOZbb8FXg/s1600/47229_vmc.jpg

  6. http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fprivat.bahnhof.se%2Fwb155241%2Fpropaganda%2Fposter_740efdd0.jpg&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fgalleryhip.com%2Fnazi-propaganda.html&h=1123&w=811&tbnid=XN0HuCjflcDneM%3A&zoom=1&docid=bKCcex0468wHLM&ei=_OlmU9CmNYr8oATVhYLQDw&tbm=isch&client=firefox-a&ved=0CDoQMygyMDI4rAI&iact=rc&uact=3&dur=335&page=11&start=326&ndsp=31http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fprivat.bahnhof.se%2Fwb155241%2Fpropaganda%2Fposter_740efdd0.jpg&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fgalleryhip.com%2Fnazi-propaganda.html&h=1123&w=811&tbnid=XN0HuCjflcDneM%3A&zoom=1&docid=bKCcex0468wHLM&ei=_OlmU9CmNYr8oATVhYLQDw&tbm=isch&client=firefox-a&ved=0CDoQMygyMDI4rAI&iact=rc&uact=3&dur=335&page=11&start=326&ndsp=31 “Ubermensch” was later co-opted by the Nazi party to describe the perfect Aryan, above the mongrel man, who would form the new society.

  7. The Superman created by Siegel and Shuster had more in common with Heracles than with Nietzsche’s or Hitler’s Ubermensch Action Comics #267 1960 http://www.comics101.com/guestlecturer//news/Guest%20Lecturer/24/7samson.jpg

  8. Superman • The superhero emerged at the end of the Great Depression and during the build-up to World War II. • A new kind of hero emerged: • the self-reliant “lone wolf” who stands apart from many of the basic concerns of society • He is able to operate according to his own code of honor

  9. Superman • Appeared as a villain in 1933 • Rewritten as A hero

  10. Although they shopped “Superman” around to newspapers for several years, they were unsuccessful. • In 1938, the rights were finally bought by DC Comics Action Comics #1 June, 1938 http://kleinletters.com/Blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/action1.jpg

  11. July/August, 1942 http://static02.mediaite.com/geekosystem/uploads/2010/03/superman-hitler-tojo.jpg

  12. Superman Powers: Super strength Invulnerability Power of flight Vision powers Super speed Weaknesses: kryptonite magic

  13. Superman • His arrival created a new genre • Even today, many superhero origins are loosely based on his • Although his powers have changed over the years, he remains intrinsically the same character

  14. 1930’s http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wkiuBwEqVKI/TwCQV3z5nfI/AAAAAAAAoD8/mmF4MfXYLIQ/s400/supermancomics.jpg http://www.supermanartists.comics.org/superart/SUPERMAN1934.jpg

  15. 1940’s http://woodstockwardrobe.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/superman.jpeg https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-tGlIIBmagZk/TXrD0KNoqJI/AAAAAAAAADY/GWQuAGthtNk/s1600/Max+Fleischer+Superman.jpg

  16. 1940’s http://www.digitaldeliftp.com/Images/pings/Superman-Ad-1-tb.png The Adventures o f Superman radio show ran from 1940 – 1951. Superman was played by Bud Collyer http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_1sDImhbykvE/S0W484X11QI/AAAAAAAAhiI/JfBeUbMF2Hc/s640/Kellogs_Pep+Sponosorship+ad+of+Superman+1940s+Radio+Show.jpg

  17. 1948 - 1950 http://www.westernclippings.com/images/serial/supermanstill2_400.jpg The Superman theatrical Serials ran for 15 episodes in 1948 Kirk Alyn Played Superman http://www.supermantv.net/superman/dvds/superman-serial-poster2.jpg

  18. 1950’s http://sharetv.org/images/adventures_of_superman-show.jpg https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTIfwfrxXn4-z58komnMTGOMLdvOimRn9cWI8XezarHL9boIG_a The Adventures of Superman TV show ran from 1952 to 1958. Superman was played by George Reeves. http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/thisdayintech/2009/06/reeves.jpg

  19. 1960’s http://sharetv.org/images/the_new_adventures_of_superman-show.jpg http://media.dcentertainment.com/sites/default/files/1966-The-New-Adventures-Of-Superman-Season-1-5.jpg

  20. 1960’s http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/9a/1968_Batman_Superman_Hour.jpg This ran on Saturday mornings in the late 1960’s. Bud Collyer returned to voice the character of Superman http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-3VyK9F1jpYY/T7PLhTliBrI/AAAAAAAAY-E/BXzuzwaEtE8/s1600/PDVD_003.jpg

  21. In 1978, Superman returned to theatres. Superman was played by Christopher Reeve. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/e8/Superman_movie_vid_cap2.JPG http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/6d/Superman_ver1.jpg

  22. The film was very successful, making more than 300 million dollars. There would be three sequels. ( Superman II is the best of the four) http://www.cinemaretro.com/uploads/supermanreeve.jpg

  23. http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51J%2BT0m2hZL._SS500_.jpghttp://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51J%2BT0m2hZL._SS500_.jpg

  24. http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120814134239/marvel_dc/images/1/10/Bizarro_Superboy_TV_Series_001.jpghttp://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120814134239/marvel_dc/images/1/10/Bizarro_Superboy_TV_Series_001.jpg Superboy was a live action ½ hour TV series that aired from 1988 – 1992. Superboy was played by John Haynes Newton(season 1) and Gerard Christopher (seasons 2 – 4) http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_of7mShM5N1g/TMbazG1GRzI/AAAAAAAACJg/T55pnKUafNc/s1600/superboy_mag_ad2.jpg

  25. Lois and Clark: The new Adventures of Superman was a live action series that aired from 1993 – 1997. It focused mainly on the relationship between Clark(Superman) Kent and Lois lane. Superman was played by Dean Cain. http://images.zap2it.com/images/tv-EP00082928/lois-and-clark-the-new-adventures-of-superman-8.jpg

  26. Superman: The Animated Series aired from 1996 – 2000. https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcScvt2VfuukMMP36nyeSVx_r-DgaiacSTpOE11AJLIig7eKNuZZ http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-tSNb0c5_4no/UX9DyLmPUII/AAAAAAAASNY/UbabuP9r-kI/s1600/600full-superman--the-animated-series-screenshot.jpg

  27. Smallville was on the WB from 2001 – 2011. It mainly explored learning about his powers and abilities and struggling to fit in. Clark Kent was played by Tom Welling https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcScvt2VfuukMMP36nyeSVx_r-DgaiacSTpOE11AJLIig7eKNuZZ

  28. Superman Returns was released in 2006. It was meant to be a sequel of sorts to Superman II (1980). Superman was played by Brandon Routh http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/10/Superman_Returns.jpg

  29. 2006 http://www.filmcritic.com/assets_c/2010/02/Superman-Returns-thumb-560xauto-25632.gif?AMCN

  30. 2013 http://mattcampbellart.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Superman-man-of-steel-henry-cavill.jpg

  31. SUPERHEROES Motifs and themes* • 1. The hero is marked out from society • Often has a life-saving journey as a baby • He reaches maturity without having a relationship with his parents * Most are based on Action Comics #1

  32. SUPERHEROES Motifs and themes • 2. At least some of the superheroes will be like earthbound gods in their level of powers • Other superheroes of lesser powers will consort easily with these earthbound deities • Why do superheroes need to be…super?

  33. SUPERHEROES Motifs and themes • 3. The hero’s devotion to justice overrides even his devotion to the law

  34. SUPERHEROES Motifs and themes • 4. The extraordinary nature of the superhero will be contrasted with the ordinariness of his surroundings • Superheroes do not significantly change the world they live in http://www.coverbrowser.com/image/superboy/8-1.jpg

  35. SUPERHEROES Motifs and themes • 5. The extraordinariness of the superhero will be contrasted with the mundane nature of his alter-ego • Superman – Clark Kent • Thor – Don Blake • Spiderman – Peter Parker

  36. SUPERHEROES Motifs and themes • 6. Although ultimately above the law, superheroes can be capable of considerable patriotism and moral loyalty to the state, though not necessarily to the letter of the laws.

  37. SUPERHEROES Motifs and themes • 7. The stories are mythical and use science and magic indiscriminately to create a sense of wonder • “Omniscient superheroes had their parallels in fairy tales; replacing science with magic was simply expressing basic ideas in contemporary terms.” • -Amy Kiste Nyberg: Seal of Approval: The History of the Comics Code

  38. Batman First Appearance May 1939 in Detective comics #27 Since 1940, there has not been a week when a Batman comic has not been published

  39. Batman

  40. Batman Batman swearing Dick Grayson into a life of crime fighting

  41. Batman Batman was inspired by a number of different sources, including but not limited to: Zorro, The Shadow, The Bat, The Phantom, Dracula, Sherlock Holmes, Superman and Dick Tracy.

  42. http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&docid=hH7IeCCip4bKIM&tbnid=1kndV3ALIKhavM:&ved=0CAUQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fcopycateffect.blogspot.com%2F2013%2F02%2FHugo-Joker.html&ei=r-5mU86QBMLBoATOnoDABw&bvm=bv.65788261,d.cGU&psig=AFQjCNHYpu2cyeinNwOsaA7PCmQsjiPXrA&ust=1399341082774056http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&docid=hH7IeCCip4bKIM&tbnid=1kndV3ALIKhavM:&ved=0CAUQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fcopycateffect.blogspot.com%2F2013%2F02%2FHugo-Joker.html&ei=r-5mU86QBMLBoATOnoDABw&bvm=bv.65788261,d.cGU&psig=AFQjCNHYpu2cyeinNwOsaA7PCmQsjiPXrA&ust=1399341082774056

  43. Batman Batman – in the 1940’s serials and in the 1960’s TV show

  44. Batman in the 1960’s http://i3.ytimg.com/vi/zGHKN3AvALw/mqdefault.jpg

  45. Batman How Hollywood sees Batman Batman 1989 and Batman and Robin 1997 https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRAtNxeVzAy6KarNmf2J6sZQ_qt-O2LGUa13TJOCOkR_Gh3Ch8p http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5_ilMytkSwc/UGPKubCG7oI/AAAAAAAADRM/PqaIchSyK1g/s1600/003.jpeg

  46. Batman Begins 2005 The Dark Knight Rises 2012 https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSFtnO9yLgrYKg_6TXMoh03Z-uDp6v3ko2qgLsBx6J5lMQXaTrHnQ http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5088/5371557782_0cfe7629d4_z.jpg

  47. http://axolotlburg.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/batman-the-brave-and-the-bold.jpghttp://axolotlburg.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/batman-the-brave-and-the-bold.jpg

  48. https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTf-ViUmvXLH0JIkHBo2Upc_uiMdAcOGXTS8LlQToE7TsWGDxT1https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTf-ViUmvXLH0JIkHBo2Upc_uiMdAcOGXTS8LlQToE7TsWGDxT1

  49. 1972-73 http://epou.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/1342746906-51.jpg

  50. In case you were interested… http://blog.bellcurves.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Bane-620x387.jpg http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/1866ff790z1v4jpg/ku-xlarge.jpg