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Was Superman a Spy?: And Other Comic Book Legends Revealed

by Brian Cronin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1266218,127 (3.48)1
Fascinating and often bizarre true stories behind more than 130 urban legends about comic book culture. Was Superman a Spy? demystifies all of the interesting stories, unbelievable anecdotes, wacky rumors, and persistent myths that have piled up like priceless back issues in the seventy-plus years of the comic book industry, including: * Elvis Presley's trademark hairstyle was based on a comic book character (True) * Stan Lee featured a gay character in one of Marvel's 1960s war comics (False) * Wolverine of the X-Men was originally meant to be an actual wolverine! (True) * What would have been DC's first black superhero was changed at the last moment to a white hero (True) * A Dutch inventor was blocked from getting a patent on a process because it had been used previously in a Donald Duck comic book (True) With many more legends resolved, Was Superman a Spy? is a must-have for the legions of comic book fans and all seekers of "truth, justice, and the American way."… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Required reading for all comic book geeks, Brian Cronin's weekly column Comic Book Legends Revealed educates and enlightens the trivial aspects of comic book history. Was Superman A Spy? collects 65 of Cronin's columns plus an additional 65 pieces written for this book. Dividing the book into three parts (DC, Marvel, and Other Companies), Cronin introduces and demystifies legends involving many of the industry's giants—both creations and creators. Sadly, Was Superman A Spy? lacks an index. Often missing notations, the picture reproductions are of poor quality. Inexcusable for a publishing house the size of Plume, the book is littered with misspellings and typos. Despite these flaws, Was Superman A Spy? stands as a unique book for the comic book fan and will be enjoyed by anyone with an even passing interest in the medium.


( )
  rickklaw | Oct 13, 2017 |
This one is better than his other book, [b:Why Does Batman Carry Shark Repellent?: And Other Amazing Comic Book Trivia!|13543033|Why Does Batman Carry Shark Repellent? And Other Amazing Comic Book Trivia!|Brian Cronin|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1331863992s/13543033.jpg|19107327]. It got more in depth with the information presented. Still reads like a bunch of blog entries (which is what it is), but it's an excellent bathroom reader for folks who like comic trivia. ( )
  RottenArsenal | Jul 28, 2014 |
I really enjoyed this book and think it could have been longer, some of the stories mentioned I had heard before but quite a few I hadn't
Great book ( )
  nirrad | Mar 8, 2011 |
The format of the book was different than I expected it to be - in many of the blurbs, it was difficult to tell exactly which "legend" was being addressed - but this book gives a nice overview of comic book history, especially of the "major two" (DC and Marvel). Die-hard comic book fans probably already know most, if not all, of the main points contained in this book, but for relative newcomers to comics, or those who are mostly Marvel or mostly DC, it's a good resource.

It's amazing to read how major comic events, costumes, characters, or plots were often "accidents." Batman's original costume design would have been laughable, for instance. The world of comics is apparently a gigantic soap opera, filled with petty feuds, in-fighting, and subtle stabs and slights to people regarded as competition. Well, I can't say it's not interesting to read about! And, along the way, there's trivia sprinkled throughout - why was the Hulk's color changed from gray to green? Did Peter's Uncle Ben really say the famous quote about great power and great responsibility that is so often attributed to him? Is the word "super-hero" trademarked? You'll find all of those answers here, along with a bunch of others.

The book could have benefited from a better editor - there were several glaring typos, and run-on sentences were common. Still, the book is readable, and the author has an easy conversational style for most of it. I could have done without his editorializing throughout the book, however; let the reader make up his/her mind. And the more current information is a bit dated (the book was published in 2009, but the cutting off point seems to be mid-2008). ( )
  schatzi | Mar 25, 2010 |
interesting book on the history of comics... black ops style! ( )
  illustrationfan | Sep 11, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cronin, Brianprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Duzyj, MickeyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"Knowledge is the food of the soul." - Plato
Dedication
For my grandfather, Bernard Flynn
First words
Amusingly enough, it all began with falling for an urban legend myself.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
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Canonical DDC/MDS
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Fascinating and often bizarre true stories behind more than 130 urban legends about comic book culture. Was Superman a Spy? demystifies all of the interesting stories, unbelievable anecdotes, wacky rumors, and persistent myths that have piled up like priceless back issues in the seventy-plus years of the comic book industry, including: * Elvis Presley's trademark hairstyle was based on a comic book character (True) * Stan Lee featured a gay character in one of Marvel's 1960s war comics (False) * Wolverine of the X-Men was originally meant to be an actual wolverine! (True) * What would have been DC's first black superhero was changed at the last moment to a white hero (True) * A Dutch inventor was blocked from getting a patent on a process because it had been used previously in a Donald Duck comic book (True) With many more legends resolved, Was Superman a Spy? is a must-have for the legions of comic book fans and all seekers of "truth, justice, and the American way."

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