by Will Murray
by Andrew Salmon
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
that said, I welcome you to contribute.
Hiebert, editor, 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.
is not expected to be very high.
All ideas are welcome. See the submission