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Gladiator of Iron
by Will Murray

Unsung Hero
by Andrew Salmon

The story

Philip Wylie's Gladiator was first published by Knopf in 1930. The novel sold reasonably well, but didn't generate a lot of interest outside of the Golden Age SF crowd.   It would be eight years later, when its first descendent took flight over Metropolis, that the book's impact on popular literature became evident.

The story follows the life of Hugo Danner, the 20th Century's first super human. Danner is bullet proof and "mightier than machine." Nothing short of a "bursting artillery shell" can harm him. He is, indeed, a super man. But, as the reader discovers, these talents do not make him a "super hero."

Although it is credited with begetting an entire industry of super-powered heroes, Gladiator has little in common with its illustrated descendents. As you can read in his original introduction from the Book League Monthly, Philip Wylie had a definite point to make in the novel, and it had nothing to do with capes, costumes, or even heroes.

Only Hugo Danner's super powers were passed on to the comic book world. Wylie's original metaphor has been overrun by an army of costumed personas who rarely suffer the foibles of Hugo Danner. Then again, those costumed types can be a lot more fun to read about.

For whatever reason, the work has  been eclipsed by the success of its successors.


And that's were hugodanner.com comes in. This site intends to not only contribute to the confused interpretations of the novel, but become their very source.  It will explore minutia and celebrate the chaos of reader interpretation.  Not all writings will be kind. None should be boring.

With that said,  I welcome you to contribute.

- Matt Hiebert, editor, hugodanner.com

hugodanner.com is here to give researchers, students, book collectors, comic book nuts and writers of all cuts a venue for literary exercise and resource. It will serve as a hub and library for information on Gladiator and Philip Wylie. The site will contain both original content and links to related subjects.  It is not affiliated with Philip Wylie or any of his publishers. It is meant only as a tribute to a novel that's sometimes gotten on the wrong side of hype.

Traffic is not expected to be very high.

All ideas are welcome. See the submission guidelines.