The Encyclopedia of Superheroes on Film and Television, 2d ed.

Limited Hardcover Edition


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About the Book

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a complete guide to over 50 years of superheroes on screen! This expanded and updated edition of the 2004 award-winning encyclopedia covers important developments in the popular genre; adds new shows such as Heroes and Zoom; includes the latest films featuring icons like Superman, Spiderman and Batman; and covers even more types of superheroes.
Each entry includes a detailed history, cast and credits, episode and film descriptions, critical commentaries, and data on arch-villains, gadgets, comic-book origins and super powers, while placing each production into its historical context. Appendices list common superhero conventions and clichés; incarnations; memorable ad lines; and the best, worst, and most influential productions from 1951 to 2008.

About the Author(s)

John Kenneth Muir is the author of more than 20 reference books covering science fiction and horror on film and television. He is creator of the Internet sci-fi series The House Between ( and his popular blog can be found at

Bibliographic Details

John Kenneth Muir
Format: hardcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 704
Bibliographic Info: 71 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3755-9
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9209-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi

Superheroes Re-Booted: A Preface to the Second Edition      1

“Thank God You’re Here!” An Introduction      3



The Amazing Spider-Man      33

The Ambiguously Gay Duo      47

Angel      48

Aquaman      73

Automan      75

Batman      81

Bibleman      125

The Bionic Woman      126

Birdman and the Galaxy Trio      138

Birds of Prey      139

Black Scorpion      147

Blade      158

Blankman      168

Bluntman and Chronic      171

Buffy the Vampire Slayer      172

Captain America      210

Captain Nice      216

Captain Planet and the Planeteers      219

Catwoman      220

Condorman      223

The Crow      226

Daredevil      238

Dark Angel      242

Darkman      256

Doctor Strange      261

ElectraWoman and DynaGirl      265

Elektra      269

The Fantastic Four      272

The Flash      279

The Gemini Man      287

Generation X      291

Ghost Rider      293

The Greatest American Hero      296

The Green Hornet      307

Green Lantern      314

Hellboy      315

Hero High      318

Heroes      319

The Incredible Hulk      329

The Incredibles      347

The Invincible Iron Man      350

Isis      353

The Justice League of America      355

The League of

Extraordinary Gentlemen      361

The Man from Atlantis      363

Manimal      367

M.A.N.T.I.S.      372

Martian Manhunter      378

The Mask      378

The Meteor Man      381

The Mighty Thor      383

Misfits of Science      383

Mr. Terrific      387

Mutant X      388

My Secret Identity      400

My Super Ex-Girlfriend      402

Mystery Men      404

Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.      407

Nightman      409

Now and Again      419

Once a Hero      427

Painkiller Jane      429

The Phantom      433

Plastic Man      437

The Pumaman      437

The Return of Captain Invincible      438

RoboCop      440

The Rocketeer      453

The Shadow      455

Shazam!      458

Sheena      461

Silver Surfer      470

The Six Million Dollar Man      471

Sky High      489

Spawn      491

Steel      494

Superboy      497

Supergirl      535

Superman      539

Swamp Thing      599

Teen Titans      606

The Tick      608

Unbreakable      613

Who Wants to Be a Superhero?      616

Witchblade      617

Wonder Woman      626

X-Men      640

Zoom: Academy for Superheroes      651



Appendix A: Conventions and Clichés      655

Appendix B: Incarnations      666

Appendix C: Memorable Ad-Lines      669

Appendix D: The Best, Worst and Most Influential      671

Notes      675

Bibliography      681

Index      685

Book Reviews & Awards

First edition awards: New York Public Library Outstanding Reference Book. A Library Journal Starred Review
“valuable…useful…recommended”—Choice; “coverage is extensive…a good addition to the pop-culture collection”—Booklist; “amazing”—The New York Public Library; “over-the-top, first-stop-in-pop-culture reference maven McFarland has unearthed another killer-kryptonite jewel…bounteous reference cornucopia…Muir knows the landscape like Aquaman knows Atlantis. If you can swing it, get two copies…you’ll need them both. Rock on, Muir and McFarland!”—Library Journal; “a delight…recommended”—ARBA; “fascinating and fun…will appeal to both enthusiasts of the superhero genre as well as serious students of popular culture…full of interesting facts and offbeat trivia”—Against the Grain; “riveting…sheer quantity of information, much of it difficult or impossible to find elsewhere…a browser’s delight”—School Library Journal; “unique…commendable…straightforward…well-researched…a good ready reference tool…valuable”—Reference Reviews; “a work of impressive dimensions and enthusiastically recommended”—Midwest Book Review; “entertaining data…must-have”—Animation Magazine; “excellent commentary on the newer breed of super heroes…detail is mind-boggling. Muir is a good researcher and writer”—Classic Images; “detailed”—Communication Booknotes Quarterly; “cool…everything you need to know…all you could possibly wish to have at your fingertips”—Music Revue Magazine; “for years I have been wanting a book on superhero movies, and this 600+ page brick goes one better by including TV shows, too…covers them all. Even the obscure…the book’s introduction is a terrific history of the genre, with Muir demonstrating he knows his stuff”—Hitch; “Muir is well-grounded in the lore…well-chosen b/w photos throughout”—The Zone; “filled with great anecdotal and historical information, the entries are illustrated with a smattering of photographs and add flavor and zest to the text…unique…a good resource…buy this book”—Penguin Comics; “ultimate superheroes reference…highly detailed”—Burlington County Times; “astonishing detail, every fact, story synopsis and concept behind each project…the ultimate lowdown on the film and video appearances”—Collectors’ Corner.

Additional information

Additional information


Limited Hardcover Edition