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Gladiator: The Enduring Classic That Inspired the Creators of Superman!
Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Gladiator by Philip Wylie. Gladiator by Philip Wylie. First published inGladiator is the tale of Hugo Danner, a man endowed from birth with extraodinary strength and speed. But Danner is no altruist. He spends his life trying to cope with his abilities, phjlip a sports hero in college, later a sideshow act, a war hero, never truly finding peace with himself.
The character of Danner inspired both Superman’s creators, First published inGladiator is the tale pphilip Hugo Danner, a man endowed from birth phjlip extraodinary strength and speed. But Wylie, an editor with the New Yorker, sought to develop more than a pulp hero. His Gladiator provides surprising insights into the difficulties suffered by the truly gifted when born in our midst. Paperbackpages. Published June 1st by Blackmask.
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Gladiator by Philip Wylie
Feb 07, Dan Schwent rated it really liked it Shelves: That is an understandment. Gladiator is the story of Hugo Danner. Hugo is the son of a scientist who injected him with a serum when he was still in the womb, giving him unbelievable strength. For example, Hugo kills a bully at school with his superhuman strength, branding him an outsider for the rest of his life.
Over the course of the book, Hugo goes from relationship to relationship, works in a circus, figh I picked up Gladiator because I heard it was an inspiration for Doc Savage and Superman. Over the course of the book, Hugo goes from relationship to relationship, works in a circus, fights in a war, all the while looking for a place to belong.
Hugo being an outsider reminded me a lot of the way The Hulk and the X-Men are treated. In fact, Hugo’s story seems like the template for a lot of later superhero characters. I’d recommend this to any comic book or Doc Savage fan interested in looking at the ancestor of their heroes. Jul 24, Jim rated it really liked it Shelves: Dan’s review is here: I found it for free on Gutenberg. As Dan mentions in his review, I can see the early seeds of almost every super hero in this book.
It’s the mother of them all. Dec 25, Jonathan rated it liked it Shelves: In which all the new-fangled emotional and psychological complexity claimed for modern superhero movies is found to have been there from the start “When you were little more than a mass of plasm inside your mother, I put a medicine in her blood that I had discovered.
Gladiator (novel) – Wikipedia
I did it with a hypodermic needle. That medicine changed you. It altered the structure of your bones and muscles and nerves and your blood.
It made you into a different tissue from the weak fibre of ordinary people. Then—when you we In which all the new-fangled emotional and psychological complexity claimed for modern superhero movies is found to have been there from the start “When you were little more than a mass of plasm inside your mother, I put a medicine in her blood that I had discovered.
Then—when you were born—you were strong. Did you ever watch an ant carry many times its weight? Or see a grasshopper jump fifty times its philpi
The insects have better muscles and nerves than we have. And I improved your body till it was relatively gladiayor strong. Can you understand that? I’m like a man made out of iron instead of meat.
And, as you grow up, you’ve got to remember that. You’re not an ordinary human being. When people find that out, they’ll—they’ll—” “They’ll hate me? So you see, you’ve got to be good and kind and considerate—to justify all that strength. Some day you’ll find a use for it—a big, noble use—and then you can make it work and be proud of it. Until that day, you have to be humble like all the rest of us.
You mustn’t show off or do cheap tricks. Then you’d just be a clown. Wait your time, son, and you’ll be glad of it. And—another thing—train your temper. You must never lose it. Gladistor can see what would happen if you did? Ohilip hard work—doin’ all that.
And you’re the strongest of them all, Hugo. Danner looked into the darkened sky. I expected pulp, I expected a proto-superman, a science fiction adventure with little else.
Instead I found a complex and moving exploration of humanity, of war, of failure, of the hatred and fear of the strange, of youth and desire. To those moments humanity returns for refuge, for courage, and for solace. It was of such material that Hugo’s next two months were composed. The items of it were nearly all sensuous: A light fall of snow that was split into festers by the guns before it could anneal the ancient sores.
Hugo shivered and stared into no man’s land, whence a groan had issued for twenty hours, audible occasionally over the tumult of the artillery. He saw German eyes turned mutely on the same heap of rags that moved pitifully over the snow, leaving a red wake, dragging a bloody thing behind. It rose and fell, moving parallel wylir the two trenches. Many machine-gun bullets had either missed it or increased its crimson torment. Ywlie went out and killed the heap of rags, with a revolver that cracked until the groans stopped in a low moan.
Breaths on both sides were bated. The rags had been gray-green. A shout of low, rumbling praise came from the silent enemy trenches. Hugo looked over there for a moment and smiled. He looked down at the thing and vomited. The guns began again. I read the free edition available online at Project Gutenberg. I chose this edition because it’s the original hardcover — and has pgilip coolest cover art.
Even allowing for the fact this book is 85 years old, it’s not especially well-written. That said, the ideas it contains are fairly electric, and one can see how it inspired teenagers Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster to create Superman.
Secret Origin of the Superhero: On Philip Wylie’s ‘Gladiator’
Mostly because they lifted parts of it wholesale for their creation. I don’t blame though, since as teenagers we m I read the free edition available online at Project Gutenberg.
I don’t blame though, since as teenagers we mostly just regurgitate what wypie seen before. It’s not their fault Superman became an instant hit. Of particular interest to me beyond philjp book’s pulp nature is the look at everyday life back then. The slang is sometimes as impenetrable as protagonist Hugo Danner’s bullet-proof skin, but I do find it fascinating to see how language has changed.
In my own lifetime I’ve seen slang come and go “That’s really gear! There is a casual sexism towards women that really stands out nearly a century g,adiator, but it’s not intentionally cruel. Wylie also shows that the lower caste is casually racist as they use phrases like, “That’s sure white of you.
For all that, the book is actually quite progressive. Hugo Danner’s father is a meek but brilliant biologist who is brow-beaten by his wife. Nonetheless they manage to enjoy an evening of procreation, and he can’t resist the temptation to see if his experiments to vastly improve a creature’s cells will work on his unborn child.
He fears that he will have a daughter as petty as his wife and is relieved when he has a son. Once his son demonstrates his remarkable strength as a toddler, Danner researches his wife’s ancestors to ensure she wasn’t tainted with Indian blood.