Search / Login

Quick Links:
Latest Releases
Browse by Artist
Love and Rockets Guide
Peanuts books
Disney books
More browsing options under "Browse Shop" above

Search: All Titles

Advanced Search
Login / Free Registration
Detail Search
Download Area
Show Cart
Your Cart is currently empty.


Sign up for our email newsletters for updates on new releases, events, special deals and more.

Info: Your browser does not accept cookies. If you want to put products into your cart and purchase them you need to enable cookies.

Tell a Friend

Supermen! The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes 1936-1941

Details for this: Book
Author: various artists; edited by Greg Sadowski
Format: Softcover
Pages: 192
Dimensions: 7.5" x 10.5"
Colors: full color
Year: 2009
Publisher: Fantagraphics
ISBN-10: n/a
ISBN-13: 978-1-56097-971-5
Additional Details: introduction by Jonathan Lethem; second printing, Nov. 2009

Price: $26.99


The enduring cultural phenomenon of comic book heroes was invented in the late 1930s by a talented and hungry group of artists and writers barely out of their teens, flying by the seat of their pants to create something new, exciting, and above all profitable. The iconography and mythology they created flourishes to this day in comic books, video, movies, fine art, advertising, and practically all other media. Supermen! collects the best and the brightest of this first generation, including Jack Cole, Will Eisner, Bill Everett, Lou Fine, Fletcher Hanks, Jack Kirby, Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, and Basil Wolverton. If the reader is expecting to find an All-American group of altruistic do-gooders, he in for quite a jolt. As Jonathan Lethem writes in his Foreword, “A collection like Supermen! works like a reverse-neutron bomb to assumptions about the birth of the superhero image: it tears down the orderly structures of theory and history and leaves the figures standing in full view, staring back at us in all their defiant disorienting particularity, their blazing strangeness.” Beautifully designed and produced in full color, Supermen! contains twenty full-length stories, ten full-sized covers, a generous selection of vintage promotional ads, and comprehensive end notations by editor Greg Sadowski, making it indispensable to anyone interested in the origins of superheroes and the history of the comic book form.

Download an EXCLUSIVE 11-page PDF excerpt (7.4 MB) featuring an entire story by Will Eisner and Lou Fine starring The Flame!

Video & Photo Slideshow Preview (view in new window):

"Supermen! edited by Greg Sadowski is top drawer. I'm hoping it is a break-out book like the Fletcher Hanks. It deserves it. Unlike other comic collections, Supermen! features complete stories as well as ads and covers, so that it's very much like getting a bound volume of very cool stories. Everything is scarce material, much or most never before reprinted, yet by major names like Will Eisner, Jack Cole, Fletcher Hanks (two stories), Lou Fine, Basil Wolverton, et al. Love the spiced up colors and nice warm paper stock; it is the closest thing to the real comics I have seen yet - in fact, I don't think I've ever seen such good authentic reproduction on such a book before. Nothing like those cold, flat Archives collections on slick paper that do NOT offer you this same experience. It's superior to them all." – Bud Plant

"…so remarkable, it’s hard not to love it… an indispensable collection." – Jack Abramowitz, Comics Buyers Guide

"Great collection of Pre-Code superhero comics. Perfectly odd and unpredictable, with a lot of big names." – John Porcellino

Links to Reviews and Features

You may also be interested in:

Action! Mystery! Thrills! Comic Book Covers of the Golden Age 1933-45
Action! Mystery! Thrills! Comic Book Covers of the Golden Age 1933-45
Add to Cart
Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby's Romance Comics
Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby's Romance Comics
Add to Cart
The Secret History of Marvel Comics: Jack Kirby and the Moonlighting Artists at Martin Goodman's Empire
The Secret History of Marvel Comics: Jack Kirby and the Moonlighting Artists at Martin Goodman's Empire
You Save: 10.00%
Add to Cart
Black Light: The World of L.B. Cole [Pre-Order]
Black Light: The World of L.B. Cole [Pre-Order]
Add to Cart

Last Updated:

Hanselmann Tour

Simon Hanselmann on U.S. Tour - poster

Cute Boys Alert: Simon Hanselmann, Michael DeForge and Patrick Kyle on Tour. Click here for tour details!