Gladiator
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23-06-2013, 09:34 PM (This post was last modified: 23-06-2013 09:49 PM by ghostexorcist.)
Gladiator
I mentioned in a couple of threads that the golden age Superman is a direct ripoff of Hugo Danner from the novel Gladiator. The novel was published in 1930, eight years before the first Superman comic. There are so many similarities between them, in fact, that it appears as if Siegel and Shuster just changed the names of characters and represented entire chapters as their own work in successive comic books. This review mentions some of the similarities.

I have a 1950s copy of the book that I read about 6 years ago. I wouldn't call it well written, but I will call it a masterstroke of science fiction for its time. I firmly believe that the author, Philip Wylie, is the grandfather of all comic book heroes. A part from Superman, bits and pieces of the story appear to have influenced characters from Captain America to Spider-man. For instance, Danner's super strength, speed, and invulnerability come from a super serum injected into his mother's womb.

You can read a PDF of the novel here:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/48287558/Gladi...ilip-Wylie
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24-06-2013, 09:07 AM
RE: Gladiator
To be fair, Hugo Danner may have been influenced by the early comic strip character Hugo Hercules. Strips about Hercules ran in 1902, twenty-eight years before Gladiator. This would make the creator, William H. D. Koerner, the great grandfather of superhero comics.

http://www.barnaclepress.com/comics/Hugo%20Hercules/
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