A couple of months back I told you about Secret Identity, a book about the fetish art of Joe Shuster, one of the creators of Superman. The art is especially intriguing because it features S&M and bondage scenarios starring character who look very familiar. Like they might perhaps work for a great metropolitan newspaper. A Daily Planet, perhaps.
Now the book has been optioned for a movie. I imagine that the film version will be more than just Shuster drawing dirty pictures; the art included in Secret Identity ran in a comic book that was apparently mob funded, and the book itself was implicated in the crimes of the Brooklyn Thrill Kill Gang.
They were a group of confused youth: Neo-Nazi Jews. They murdered two men and kidnapped and beat many others. Major league douchebag Dr. Frederic Wertham used them as an example of the negative impacts of comic books in his Seduction of the Innocent, which forced Congressional hearings, led to the end of EC Comics and to the creation of the Comics Code Authority.
That means that not only did Joe Shuster essentially create the model of the modern superhero, he also helped create the atmosphere in which the modern superhero was turned into the lobotomized teenage power fantasy he remains to this day. A pretty impressive legacy.
Behind every great book adaptation is a forgettable first try. — By Ryan Covey