In the depths of the Depression, out of the crowded tenements of New York and Cleveland, the comic book superhero leapt into being. Out of a mix of geekiness, science fiction, and outsider yearning, a crew of young men from working-class Jewish neighbourhoods and shady backgrounds created a series of blue-eyed, chisel-nosed crime fighters and adventurers who quickly captured the imaginations of young and old. Within a few years their creations had spawned a new genre that still dominates youth entertainment seventy years later. Gerard Jones draws on exhaustive research to portray how the immigrant experience and an outsider mentality shaped the vision of the make-believe hero, while a bizarre melting-pot of left-wing politics, mob money and the worlds of soft-porn and detective magazines contributed to the publishing world that produced the comics and brought them to millions. He chronicles how the success of the comics provoked a backlash that nearly destroyed the industry in the 1950s, and how later they surged back, inspiring a new generation to transmute pre-war fantasies into art, literature, blockbuster movies and graphic novels. Men of Tomorrow rivetingly demonstrates
Gerard Jones's is a comics historian and comic and screen writer. His writing credits include Batman, Spiderman and Pokemon. He lives in San Francisco.