Special Edition Podcast

Talksplode #64 – Glen Weldon of ‘Superman: The Unauthorized Biography’

Show Notes

Seventy-five years ago, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster ushered an orphan son of Krypton through the fields of Kansas and up, up and away to the height of popular acclaim. These days, you’d be hard pressed to find someone unaware of Superman or his mild-mannered counterpart Clark Kent, but NPR’s Glen Weldon knows the character better than most. Thankfully, he’s sharing history and insight in the pages of Superman: The Unauthorized Biography. We spoke with the author at length about the best and worst iterations of the storied hero, from comics to radio to film and even the Broadway stage.

Running Time: 00:43:15


Buy Superman: The Unauthorized Biography now on Amazon.

Check out Glen’s Tumblr, an ongoing companion piece to the book.

“Superman March”
John Williams


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  1. Warning us to avoid seeking out footage of the Superman Musical?… only makes me want to see it more.

  2. I am not a Supes fan per se, but I am a big Glen Weldon fan! So nice to hear him talk at length. He’s so smart.

  3. I am a die hard Superman fan, and “Superman IV: The Quest For Peace” is a big reason why. It hit video when I was about 4 years old, and I used to watch it constantly.

    Despite its shortcomings (of which there are many), I think, next to “Superman: The Movie” it’s the best *Superman* story of the franchise. He’s forced to choose between being a conscientious observer, or stepping in and possibly altering the course of human history.
    He’s also faced with the decision of letting go of his past; selling the farm and cutting his ties to Krypton (using the last crystal). Then there’s an interesting love triangle: A woman who’s interested in Clark and not Superman, and Lois who is interested in Superman and not Clark.
    The Daily Planet being bought out was a nice touch, too.
    Also, he fought a guy in the moon. THE MOON. And there’s a scene where Superman addresses the UN that gives me chills every time I watch it.

    The villain was corny and they gave Superman BS powers, but all in all, there are some really good elements to the story. I think most people write it off because they remember not liking it. I recommend that people give it another try if they haven’t already.

  4. Great interview Paul! Two of my favourite podcasts meet at last.

  5. Read this over the weekend , it is witty and opinionated , Glen writes like he talks which is very welcome. The bibliography also has comments on the sources used which are 100% accurate for the books I have read (most of them)
    The bibliography would serve as a great reading list for comics history , not just Superman’s history real and fictional.

    I wish there were more books like this out there on comic and pop culture characters , Benbella and smart pop’s range only cover a small number of comics characters and the format of those books (essays by different authors on different aspects of a character/novel/tv show etc ) is inevitably hit and miss.

    Good job Paul

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