Superman is the original superhero, an American icon, and arguably the most famous character in the world--and he's Jewish! Introduced in June 1938, the Man of Steel was created by two Jewish teens, Jerry Siegel, the son of immigrants from Eastern Europe, and Joe Shuster, an immigrant. They based their hero's origin story on Moses, his strength on Samson, his mission on the golem, and his nebbish secret identity on themselves. They made him a refugee fleeing catastrophe on the eve of World War II and sent him to tear Nazi tanks apart nearly two years before the US joined the war.
In the following decades, Superman's mostly Jewish writers, artists, and editors continued to borrow Jewish motifs for their stories, basing Krypton's past on Genesis and Exodus, its society on Jewish culture, the trial of Lex Luthor on Adolf Eichmann's, and a future holiday celebrating Superman on Passover.
A fascinating journey through comic book lore, American history, and Jewish tradition, this book examines the entirety of Superman's career from 1938 to date, and is sure to give readers a newfound appreciation for the Mensch of Steel!
Publisher: McFarland & Co Inc
Number of pages: 319
Weight: 680 g
Dimensions: 254 x 178 x 16 mm
Roy Schwartz has done a deep dive into the history, mythology and cultural folklore of America's super-heroes and his conclusions are indisputable. The contemporary concept of the super-hero, as old as the story of Moses, was birthed by Jewish immigrants and first generation Jewish kids from the tales, morals and ethics of their Jewish ethnical roots. The majority of the creators from 1938's Golden Age of Comics through the 1960's Marvel Age of Comics were Jewish. Whether it was Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster turning Moses into Superman or Stan Lee and Jack Kirby transforming The Golem into The Hulk, their heroes embodied their Jewish experience. Roy Schwartz analysis is scholarly yet broadly entertaining. He answers many questions and leaves the readers with but one: "If there were no Jews on Krypton where Superman was born, and if he was therefore circumcized on earth, did the moyal have to use a Kryptonite scalpel?" -Michael Uslan, Comic Book Historian and Originator and Executive Producer of the Batman movie
"A deep-dive into arguably the world's most famous and iconic fictional character and his Jewish influences...This book is a must-have for any fan of superheroes, comic books and Jewish history and literature." -Jerusalem Post, 19th May 2021