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From the Man of Steel to Batman and Wonder Woman: the super hero is born In June of 1938, Action Comics debuted with a new kind of comic book character on its cover: a costumed man with two identities, who possessed extraordinary strength and powers—a man able to protect the public when ordinary measures would not do. He was not the first super hero, but the Man of Steel w From the Man of Steel to Batman and Wonder Woman: the super hero is born In June of 1938, Action Comics debuted with a new kind of comic book character on its cover: a costumed man with two identities, who possessed extraordinary strength and powers—a man able to protect the public when ordinary measures would not do. He was not the first super hero, but the Man of Steel would become the prototype for all super heroes thereafter. Superman's story, and those of Batman, Wonder Woman, and hundreds of other DC Comics characters, are all told in The Golden Age of DC Comics . The single most comprehensive book on the subject, this volume traces the company's first decades, from its pulp origins up to the comic book burnings of the McCarthy ’50s in more than 400 pages bursting with comics, art, comics, photographs, and more comics. Also included is an exclusive interview with legendary artist Joe Kubert! About the series: TASCHEN's series on DC Comics explores the origins of comics’ most enduring legends and the behind-the-scenes stories of the men and women who created them, era by era. Expanded from the Eisner Award–winning XL book, 75 Years of DC Comics, this new series hits the shelf at a reader-friendly size with essays updated by author Paul Levitz and more than 1,000 new images across five volumes. Thousands of covers and interiors, original illustrations, photographs, film stills, and collectibles have been reproduced to bring the story lines, the characters, and their creators to vibrant life, making this an invaluable reference for comics fans. DC Comics characters and all related elements are trademarks of and © DC Comics. (s13)


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From the Man of Steel to Batman and Wonder Woman: the super hero is born In June of 1938, Action Comics debuted with a new kind of comic book character on its cover: a costumed man with two identities, who possessed extraordinary strength and powers—a man able to protect the public when ordinary measures would not do. He was not the first super hero, but the Man of Steel w From the Man of Steel to Batman and Wonder Woman: the super hero is born In June of 1938, Action Comics debuted with a new kind of comic book character on its cover: a costumed man with two identities, who possessed extraordinary strength and powers—a man able to protect the public when ordinary measures would not do. He was not the first super hero, but the Man of Steel would become the prototype for all super heroes thereafter. Superman's story, and those of Batman, Wonder Woman, and hundreds of other DC Comics characters, are all told in The Golden Age of DC Comics . The single most comprehensive book on the subject, this volume traces the company's first decades, from its pulp origins up to the comic book burnings of the McCarthy ’50s in more than 400 pages bursting with comics, art, comics, photographs, and more comics. Also included is an exclusive interview with legendary artist Joe Kubert! About the series: TASCHEN's series on DC Comics explores the origins of comics’ most enduring legends and the behind-the-scenes stories of the men and women who created them, era by era. Expanded from the Eisner Award–winning XL book, 75 Years of DC Comics, this new series hits the shelf at a reader-friendly size with essays updated by author Paul Levitz and more than 1,000 new images across five volumes. Thousands of covers and interiors, original illustrations, photographs, film stills, and collectibles have been reproduced to bring the story lines, the characters, and their creators to vibrant life, making this an invaluable reference for comics fans. DC Comics characters and all related elements are trademarks of and © DC Comics. (s13)

30 review for The Golden Age of DC Comics

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dan Schwent

    The Golden Age of DC Comics is a coffee table book covering the history of DC Comics from 1935-1956. My wife and I were killing time, waiting for some friends of hers from college to arrive, when we wandered into Barnes and Noble. I saw this on the bargain table and snapped it up. When we got to the register, I was amazed when it cost the princely sum of $2. I've got three other comics table books, all written by Les Daniels. This one is considerably lighter on text in the main body. There's an in The Golden Age of DC Comics is a coffee table book covering the history of DC Comics from 1935-1956. My wife and I were killing time, waiting for some friends of hers from college to arrive, when we wandered into Barnes and Noble. I saw this on the bargain table and snapped it up. When we got to the register, I was amazed when it cost the princely sum of $2. I've got three other comics table books, all written by Les Daniels. This one is considerably lighter on text in the main body. There's an interview by Joe Kubert and Paul Levitz's chronicle of DC's history. That all ends on page 52. The rest of the book is page after page of comic covers, interior art, and photographs from the era covered, all with captions. This is a gorgeous book, packed to the gills with interesting art. Jack Cole, Will Eisner, and CC Beck are given more attention than DC's regulars from the period, which I found surprising since they weren't actually DC books at the time. There are scads of iconic Superman and Batman covers, as well as Wonder Woman, Hawkman, and the rest of DC's Golden Age crew. There is also art from plenty of humor, science fiction, western, and crime books. While I knew a lot about the early days of DC, there was still plenty of new info to be had. I never made the connection that Superman's home planet was called Krypton because the Mars of ERB's John Carter was called Helium by its inhabitants. I also never knew that Walt Kelly of Pogo fame did some work for DC in the early days. Mort Meskin's Johnny Quick outlasting the Flash during the Golden Age was something I didn't know but wasn't all that surprised by. Have you seen Meskin on Johnny Quick? There's not a lot to find fault with in this. I thought Levitz glossed over some of the shittier business practices of the Golden Age, although he was probably still working for DC at the time he wrote this so that shouldn't have been surprising. Also, I know Superman and Batman are the straw that stirs the drink at DC but I could have used more art featuring other characters rather than page after page of the World's Finest heroes. There was only one page from Mort Meskin's Johnny Quick! The Golden Age of DC Comics was easily the best $2 I've ever spent at Barnes and Noble. Now I'm hoping the other two Levitz books end up on the bargain table. Four out of five stars.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    So muss es im Comic-Himmel sein! Ein großformatiger Prachtband mit informativen Texten, der tonnenweise Cover, Splashpages und Fotos aus den 30er und 40er Jahren beinhaltet, das ganze in unglaublich guter Druckqualität. Hier begegnet man den Anfängen von Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman & co., aber auch etlichen unbekannteren Figuren, die das DC-Universum bevölkert haben. Das ist nicht nur Comic-, sondern auch Zeitgeschichte! Vor gut zwei Jahren hat Levitz "75 Jahre DC Comics: The Art of Modern Myt So muss es im Comic-Himmel sein! Ein großformatiger Prachtband mit informativen Texten, der tonnenweise Cover, Splashpages und Fotos aus den 30er und 40er Jahren beinhaltet, das ganze in unglaublich guter Druckqualität. Hier begegnet man den Anfängen von Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman & co., aber auch etlichen unbekannteren Figuren, die das DC-Universum bevölkert haben. Das ist nicht nur Comic-, sondern auch Zeitgeschichte! Vor gut zwei Jahren hat Levitz "75 Jahre DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking" herausgebracht, jetzt wird dieses einbändige Mammutwerk noch einmal aufgebohrt. The Golden Age ist der erste Band, dem in zwei Monaten Silver Age und Bronze Age folgen werden. The Dark Age und The Modern Age werden sicherlich auch bald aufgelegt. Selten ist der Mythos Comic (hier am Beispiel DC) so wunderbar dokumentiert und reproduziert worden. Einziger Nachteil: Nicht nur, dass die Anschaffung der Levitz-Bände absolute Pflicht ist, beim Blättern wird auch die unbändige Lust geweckt, einige der abgebildeten Schätzchen (oder wenigstens ihre Brüder oder Schwestern) selbst zu besitzen. Aber die Zeiten, wo das für den normalverdienenden Comic-Leser möglich war, sind lange vorbei. Also doch: Levitz, Levitz, Levitz....

  3. 5 out of 5

    Doyle

    This is an amazing source of Golden Age comic history. I was already pretty knowledgeable on the subject before reading, but even I learned some knew tid bits. This book accompanies high-quality (often full page) comic cover photos with appropriate excerpts from hundreds of past interviews conducted with the artists, writers and editors of those days. This volume even goes so far as to include material covering Golden Age publishers that would eventually be absorbed into DC, such as Fawcett (Cap This is an amazing source of Golden Age comic history. I was already pretty knowledgeable on the subject before reading, but even I learned some knew tid bits. This book accompanies high-quality (often full page) comic cover photos with appropriate excerpts from hundreds of past interviews conducted with the artists, writers and editors of those days. This volume even goes so far as to include material covering Golden Age publishers that would eventually be absorbed into DC, such as Fawcett (Capt. Marvel) and Quality (Plastic Man).

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nikki

    4.5 stars

  5. 4 out of 5

    Stormcrow

    Having just finished one coffee table style art book, I was ready to dive into another. The previous book, Dungeons & Dragons: Art & Arcana, was divided into nine chapters and had a solid narrative outlining the history and evolution of the game's artwork. This book, though it has a lot of amazing artwork, had no real narrative to speak of and I found the text rather disappointing. First, there is an extremely brief interview with Joe Kubert that felt very superficial. Next, we get an all too br Having just finished one coffee table style art book, I was ready to dive into another. The previous book, Dungeons & Dragons: Art & Arcana, was divided into nine chapters and had a solid narrative outlining the history and evolution of the game's artwork. This book, though it has a lot of amazing artwork, had no real narrative to speak of and I found the text rather disappointing. First, there is an extremely brief interview with Joe Kubert that felt very superficial. Next, we get an all too brief history of the early days of what would become DC Comics. This is the first 50 pages of the book. The next 350 pages is all artwork, but without any kind of narrative to help pull you through, the tiny text of the captions leave you wallowing adrift. I realize that this is probably typical of most coffee table books which are supposed to be glanced at not read, but I wanted more. Not a lot more, but something to pull you through beyond just flipping pages. Lastly, there are occasional references comparing a featured illustration to a future (post-Golden age) illustration. It would be great if I didn't have to run to the computer to see what they're talking about. They should have had those comparisons side by side. In all, while I loved the artwork, the presentation left me wanting.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Charles

    This book is a combination of the history of the comic book characters, the characters that created them as well as some incredible and imaginative artwork. What we now call the DC line of comics has several points of origin, all of which are depicted in this definitive work. While many of the characters like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman have managed to “live” in the funny pages for decades, other characters had brief runs and have essentially been forgotten. Other characters were born, d This book is a combination of the history of the comic book characters, the characters that created them as well as some incredible and imaginative artwork. What we now call the DC line of comics has several points of origin, all of which are depicted in this definitive work. While many of the characters like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman have managed to “live” in the funny pages for decades, other characters had brief runs and have essentially been forgotten. Other characters were born, died a natural comic death only to be reborn in an entirely different form. Two examples of that are the original Green Lantern and original Flash. Some of the long term characters have essentially been partially reborn, the most obvious example is Batman. His more recent incarnation as the Dark Knight is very different from the almost jolly form of the sixties. The recurrent villains that never learn their lesson and keep coming back for more rounds of conflict are what makes the comics succeed. For heroes must always battle powerful forces, otherwise they might as well be just another person in an outrageous costume. This is a great book that can be enjoyed for the comics, the artwork of the comics or both.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Richard Zaric

    This large coffee table book will be a pleasure for any DC fan, especially regarding the comic company's early history. The cover and interior art reproductions are top notch and on high quality paper. The book follows rough themes. There's a series of pages about Superman, then a series about Batman and Wonder Woman. If you're looking for a balanced view of DC, you won't find it here. For example, the struggles faced by some creators is not mentioned. I would have liked to have seen a little mo This large coffee table book will be a pleasure for any DC fan, especially regarding the comic company's early history. The cover and interior art reproductions are top notch and on high quality paper. The book follows rough themes. There's a series of pages about Superman, then a series about Batman and Wonder Woman. If you're looking for a balanced view of DC, you won't find it here. For example, the struggles faced by some creators is not mentioned. I would have liked to have seen a little more about the effect of Seduction of the Innocent on DC. The interview with Kubert seems out of place, but that may be a function of not that many creators being around from that era. This is the type of book where you can pick it up and turn to any random page and find something interesting.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Lewonczyk

    Am I a bad person because I sometimes prefer admiring individual comic-book covers, pages and panels to reading the comics themselves? Anyway, this book has plenty of that stuff, and then some - perfect bedtime browsing.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sofia C

    UNO DE LOS MEJORES LIBROS QUE HE COMPRADO. Este libro tiene una calidad increible a un precio muy accesible, eso sí, si la gente está buscando contenido escrito este libro no les será de mucha ayuda ya que es mucho contenido visual. A pesar de ser un 90% de imágenes es bastante informativo, definitivamente vale la pena tenerlo.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mark Short

    Very interesting book. A fun history lesson

  11. 5 out of 5

    George Ruiz

    A beautiful look back at the Golden Age of comics.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Neal

    Given I'm a comics fan, and growing up loved DC comics. Every page a pleasure.

  13. 4 out of 5

    David Zachariason

    Great illustrations and information on the Golden Age.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Helmut

    Reader-friendly? Come on! More reader-friendly than the unbelievable 75 Years Of DC Comics collection? That's the same thing as saying a lion is more rider-friendly than a tiger. "The Golden Age of DC Comics" is a 2.5kg beast, oversized, thick and large. You simply cannot read it while lying on your back. That's technically impossible. Except if you are a Superman. Anyway, for comic aficionados this book is a treasure chest. Loads of reproductions of covers and inside pages of real comic books, w Reader-friendly? Come on! More reader-friendly than the unbelievable 75 Years Of DC Comics collection? That's the same thing as saying a lion is more rider-friendly than a tiger. "The Golden Age of DC Comics" is a 2.5kg beast, oversized, thick and large. You simply cannot read it while lying on your back. That's technically impossible. Except if you are a Superman. Anyway, for comic aficionados this book is a treasure chest. Loads of reproductions of covers and inside pages of real comic books, with all their shortcomings that have not been touched up (creases, holes, color misprints etc). Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Plastic Man, Flash, Wonder Woman - all of them assembled here, and additionally lots of obscure heroes of a bygone age that nobody remembers today anymore but were hits with the kids of the 40s and 50s. Especially interesting for me: The popularity of Western and crime comics almost eclipsed superhero comics for a while. That makes me think of Alan Moore's explanation of the usage of pirate comics in Watchmen. Two minor quibbles - the pages containing multiple images have lots of white space, which could have been filled by increasing the sometimes rather small images. The other thing - there is no real common thread on which the comic reproductions are strung; sometimes some randomness makes you wonder how to interpret the presented data. It goes without saying that this work has the thick, matte paper and good binding such a mammoth edition deserves. For the German edition, all annotations have been translated. The comics themselves of course remain untouched. Of course, there's always the decision to be made by any comic fan - are you a Bat-Follower or a Fan of Steel? Bob Kane's amazingly atmospheric grim cover of Detective Comics 31 (1939) and Jack Burnley's super-sized inspiring Superman (cover of Superman #21, 1943), both of them used as front and back cover respectively of the lush golden dust jacket, force you to make a hard decision. But in these golden times of yore, when the super heroes were not psychopathic, broken allegories of the modern age but shining knights with humour and the mission to entertain, such decisions were easier to make.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sardonyx

    It was very interesting to read about the early history of DC comics! There is a lot of pretty art in here. It is actually a quicker read than I expected. The first 50 pages or so are wordy and then the rest of the book is samples of golden age DC covers, artwork and pictures of the artists, writers and editors. Looking forward to the next volume!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    The first of three volumes which divide and expand upon the tombstone-like 75 Years of DC Comics tome published a few years ago. Although much of the material is the same, the newer material is interesting enough to make this a worthwhile pickup for comics fans and history buffs.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Harry

    Outstanding...great narrative and photographs and graphics....very comprehensive.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Chris Aylott

    Another big, beautiful Taschen book full of history and art. The history is a little sanitized, but the big reproductions of classic comics pages are worth taking your time with.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Thushara Vithanage

    Best comic related book you can ever come across...

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bob

    Epic and huge, with quality binding on glossy stock. A fine history of the beginnings of DC.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Manley

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jef

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Ryan

  24. 4 out of 5

    Eric

  25. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

  26. 5 out of 5

    Meg

  27. 4 out of 5

    D J Toland

  28. 5 out of 5

    est

  29. 4 out of 5

    Booksinthethroneroom

  30. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

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