Celebrating Superman and other comic book heroes

August 9, 2012

Maureen Mackie

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In April 1938, a guy shows up on the cover of Detective Comics' Action #1 holding a car over his head, wearing blue tights, a red cape and a giant "S" on his chest. 75 years later, that man — now known as Superman — is still one of the planet's most recognizable icons with thousands of comic books, several blockbuster movies and even an entire museum right here in Illinois.

America's favorite superhero is the subject of a new book from best-selling author Larry Tye. Superman: The High-Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero traces The Man of Steel's origin — we all know that he's the alter ego of Clark Kent and originally from the Planet Krypton — but how did the character come to be? And how has he remained popular for nearly eight decades through a variety of media? Tye joins Afternoon Shift Thursday to discuss the real story behind the long-lasting superhero in advance of his appearance at Chicago Comic Con this weekend.

Other superheroes have been on the rise since Superman's debut — Batman, Spider-Man, Iron Man and the Green Lantern, all of whom have had blockbuster movies. Countless others still live on within the pages of comic books, attaining a cult following among fans. We'll talk with owner of First Aid Comics (and longtime comic book fan) James Nurss about the popularity of comic books — both those with superheroes and those without — and how Superman is still popular after all these years.

We'll also be taking your calls today at 312-923-9239 to find out your favorite superhero, why you love comic books and who you're most excited to see at Chicago Comic Con this weekend.