The Tragic Tale of Superman’s Jewish Creators, Told in Graphic Novel Form

When Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel created the Superman character in the early 1930s, they were still living at their parents’ homes.

Of course, the character and his story — the arrival from another planet, his dual identities as mild-mannered reporter and flying, bulletproof crime fighter  — would go on to change the comics industry in several ways and pave the way for the super-heroization of our popular culture.

But Siegel and Shuster originally just wanted to make a little income to support themselves and their families, who had both immigrated from Eastern Europe not long before. They had bonded and began collaborating in high school in Cleveland, and although they were ambitious, they could not have conceived of how influential and popular the character would become. Sadly, they signed over the rights to the Man of Steel early on, dooming themselves to careers full of frustration and misfortune.

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