Clark Kent writes for the Daily Planet but his new biographer, Larry Tye, filed his own front-page stories for the Boston Globe and Louisville Courier-Journal. Tye, author of “Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend,” is fresh from Comic-Con International where he was promoting “Superman: The High-Flying History of America’s Most Enduring Hero,” the 432-page hardcover from Random House that is being billed as the first “full-fledged biography” of the character that is called both Kal-El and Kent. We talked to Tye about the ramping interest in “Man of Steel,” the Warner Bros. film that will put a new version of the hero on the screen just in time for his 75th anniversary next summer.
HC: This is an era of haunted anti-heroes like Batman, Wolverine, James Bond), We also have decadent tricksters — Jack Sparrow, Tony Stark, maybe even the new Capt. Kirk — and empowered underdogs like Harry Potter, Spider-Man and Sam Witwicky in the “Transformers” films. With all of that, is Superman even viable for a major film franchise?
LT: Yes, more than ever. It’s precisely because we have so many dark heroes (Batman), and fraught ones (Spider-Man), that we’re aching for a Big Blue Boyscout who knows right from wrong instinctually, and never wavers from the light or is sidetracked by anxieties. If we look back at history we see that Superman does best when America is doing worst, like when he came to life in 1938, in the middle of the Great Depression and on the eve of World War II. It was an era much like ours, when the economy is teetering and we can’t seem to extract ourselves from overseas conflicts. The success of The Avengers suggests how anxious we are for heroes who can set things right. Man of Steel, I predict, will do an even better just lifting our spirits and offering up a welcome escape.
HC: What lesson would you hope Hollywood took away from “Superman Returns”? (Click on link below to read more….)
‘Man of Steel’: The Superman we ‘need and deserve’? | Hero Complex – movies, comics, fanboy fare – latimes.com.