Superman also owes a debt to Doc Savage, the Man of Bronze, and to a short story by Jack Williamson called "The Girl From Mars," in which a scientist from a dying world places his child in a small rocket and sends her off to a better life on Earth.
|Posted: 14 June 2018 at 11:04pm | IP Logged | 1
Steranko's "History of the Comics" reprints an ad from the pulps in which Doc Savage is boldly called "Superman" years before the character saw print in the comics. Being avid readers of the pulps and science fiction, Siegel and Shuster likely saw all of these. It's widely reported that Siegel published a review of Wylie's "Gladiator" in his fanzine, but I don't believe a copy of that review has ever been found.
Sam, that team of Crusaders was part of a "stealth" crossover between Marvel and DC in which Marvel did a team of Crusaders who mirrored DC's Freedom Fighters (The Spirit of '76 for Uncle Sam; Ghost Girl for Phantom Lady; Tommy Lightning for the Ray; et al) while DC did a Crusaders whose membership paralleled the Invaders (Americommando for Capt. America; the Baracuda for Sub-Mariner; The Comet for the Human Torch; et al.)
Years later, Marv Wolfman and Mark Evanier would do something similar between the Teen Titans and the DNAgents, although there things were less planned, and more of a call-out and an answer.
As for what the comics in the Marvel Universe are like, Marvel did a "skip month" project back in 2000 that attempted to answer that question. They produced a number of comics that were supposed to be that month's issue from inside the Marvel Comics Universe. Called the "Marvels Comics Group," the books included "Call Him Thor," in which the hero is a technological genius devising magical-seeming props such as the hammer because no one in the Marvel Universe REALLY believes Thor is the Norse God of Thunder. He's got to be faking it, right? Since the general populace of Marvel's world is incredibly biased and hateful towards Mutants, the in-universe Mutant book "Codename: X-Men" portrays them as a band of Suicide Squad-style slimeballs and criminals who reluctantly work for the government and try to atone for the crime of being born wrong. When one of them dies, the eulogy runs along the lines of, "At least he died trying to be human," which the X-Men all nod and agree is a noble thing to strive for.
The FF book is akin to Tiger Beat magazine since they're the only ones who work directly with Marvel in-universe to put their book out. Spidey is an untrustworthy possible menace to society and maybe even a disgusting Mutant. No one knows for sure. All in all, it's a fairly cynical undertaking and it makes the Marvel Universe seem like a place you'd rather avoid.