This is an absolutely fascinating and delightful book, whether you are a student of popular culture or a long-term admirer in one of the most durable characters in the popular arts, The Last of Krypton, Superman. De Haven examines the continuing appeal of the first superhero since his creation in the 1930s by Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster (and the story of how the two original creators were exploited by their unsympathetic bosses remains as poignant as ever, however often it is told). De Haven is a polymath, and can discuss every single aspect of Clark Kent’s caped alter ego from the films (lovingly examined when they are good, and excoriated when they are not) to the glorious 1950s heyday of the character in the Silver Age DC comics when the deeply unpleasant Superman editor Mort Weisinger utilised a massively inventive team of creators to add many endlessly faceted elements to the character’s mythos that are still being explored to date in a variety of medium. The author’s approach is lightly academic but highly accessible, and this is one of the most sheerly enjoyable books about popular culture to be published by Yale University Press in their formidable list.

Our Hero Superman on Earth by Tom De Haven is published by Yield at university Press

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