Saving The World Boxed Set I: The Amazing Stories of The Greatest Superheroes Ever by Dean King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book set is about three Superheroes Superman, Batman and Spider-man. I had previously read the book "Superman Exposed". This bookset included Superman exposed also. Though I had reviewed the title already I like to add one from the chapter The Superman Effect: Superman's initial success back in the late 1930' s led to the creation of similar characters and other superheroes. Though some say it is still a debatable fact whether or not Superman is the first super hero created, it can not be denied that his arrival ushered the era for super heroes. Batman was the first to follow the Man of Steel in the path the latter had set. So many other publications capitalized on Superman popularity by creating similar superheroes that DC had to spend the next decade suing most of them for plagiarism. DC had been making a profit of over 1.5 million with their three Superman titles alone, so they had to make sure nobody followed suit.
The Second title of the boxed set is Batman, like the article about Superman the author has given the background of how Batman entered the comics world. The Intro of Batman by the author which I like to quote, "He was not born with genes that gave him a super healing factor and retractable claws that go SNIKT! He did not come from a dying planet and could fly faster than a speeding bullet. He was not chosen to be a guardian, herald, warrior or Rah! Rah! Boy for this cosmic power or that noble order. He did not stumble upon an ancient artifact of power. He is not the son, descendant or brother to the friend of the cousin to the neighbor whose great grandfather twice removed is God. He did not get bitten by a radioactive spider, bombarded by cosmic rays or was exposed to gamma radiation. He is human, just like the rest of us."
After the success of Superman publication in Detective comics, the then Publisher Vin Sullivan liked to have another super hero to appear, Bob Kane the creator of Batman began working on a new super hero inspired by Sherlock Holmes, Zorro, The Shadow, a sketch of a bat-winged flying machine drawn by Leonardo Da Vinci and 1930' s horror movies such as "The Bat" and Bela Lugosi's Dracula. Bob Kane took the sketches to Bill Finger, he recalled that Bob Kane had an idea for a character called 'Batman', and he'd like me to see the drawings. I went over to Kane's, and he had drawn a character who looked very much like Superman with kind of ... reddish tights, I believe, with boots ... no gloves, no gauntlets ... with a small domino mask, swinging on a rope. He had two stiff wings that were sticking out, looking like bat wings. And under it was a big sign ... BATMAN." Then Bill gave finishing touches to the character by removing the domino mask and replacing with the hood, took the eyeballs out and put slits to give a mysterious look.
In the first sketch Bat-Man wore a red union suit; the wings, trunks, and mask were black. Then Bob thought that red and black would be a good combination. Bill said that the costume was too bright then they changed the colour to dark gray. The cape looked like two stiff bat wings attached to his arms, as Bill and Bob talked,they realized that these wings would get cumbersome when Bat-Man was in action, and later they changed them into a cape, scalloped to look like bat wings when he was fighting or swinging down on a rope. Also, Batman didn't have any gloves on, and then it was added so that he wouldn't leave fingerprints." Thus the sketch was finalized. Alter ego name Bruce Wayne came from a Scottish patriot named Robert Bruce and mad Anthony Wayne.
Batman is always seen with the gadgets like the utility belt, batarang etc. The arsenal was first added to Batman by Gardner Fox. He is also the same guy who gave Julie Madison, Batman's first love interest. Bill Finger was credited for the naming of the fictional city Gotham, Batmobile and Batcave. Later Watson like character was introduced to Batman, who was a impish side kick Robin.
One of the villains of Batman "Two Face" character was influenced from Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hide. For contemporary look Batman's logo, the yellow ellipse behind the bat insignia was created by Carmine Infantino and he also redesigned the Batmobile.
The author has given a brief description over all the weapons used by Batman right from the famous utility belt, Batarangs, Bat Goo Gun, Bat Lasso, Flash Bang grenades, Tear Gas pellets. Other gadgets includes Bat Torch, Batclaw, Bat-cuffs, Bat Heater, Batlight etc.
The media appearance were neatly given, the first Batman serial was aired in 1943, the very first person to take up the mantle as Batman is Lewis Wilson. After 6 years Robert Lowery took up the titular role in the serial "Batman and Robin". With expensive sets, colorful costumes, gaudy gadgets and a theme song, Adam West starer the campy "Batman" was aired in January 1966. The actors who took Batman to big screen were mentioned in a separate chapter.
On Spider-man: The author is the first chapter has mentioned that he is a die hard fan of Spider man. He gives exhaustive details about the Super hero. Spider man character was introduced in comics in Amazing Fantasy #15, year 1962. The famous one liner "With great power comes great responsibility"was first used in the same comic book appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15.
Likewise the author has given information about the appearance of Spider man in media, the first animated series was broadcasted in 1967. In films Tobey Maguire took up as Spider man and appeared in the trilogy. Later the same movie was rebooted and released as "The Amazing Spider-Man" with Andrew Garfield as the new Spider-Man.
The author Dean King has given the Top Ten books for Batman and Spider man to be read and for collection.
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