Did you know that Superman began to fly because of budget constraints on the Superman cartoon? It was easier to just lift a picture of Superman over the background than to draw him crouching down and leaping.
Or that the Joker was originally a one-shot villain for Batman until an editor had a panel re-written?
And that the Hulk is green only because of poor-quality paper that made the color gray appear differently each time it was printed?
Is Superman A Spy and other Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed is a collection that gathers posts from the “Comics Should be Good” blog at Comic Book Resources.com. Even though I’ve been a comic geek since the age of five, it became apparent to me how much I don’t know after looking through this book.
This is especially fun to share with the kids on a rainy day and learn the inner workings of how many of their superheroes became what they are today, sometimes by sheer dumb luck, such as the story behind why Superman flies. Originally, of course, he could only leap tall buildings with a single bound.
The author, Brian Cronin, said the idea for the original series of columns arose when a writer emailed him. “I was doing a blog about comics for about six months or so, and I did a post about Walt Simonson, and he e-mailed me to point out that something I said was not accurate. He was bemused at the idea that an “urban legend” had formed around him, and after apologizing for my mistake, it occurred to me that there were probably tons of little stories like that that were running around out there that I could fact check – and it sounded like it would make for a cool column.”
It makes a cool book as well.