Superfolks by Robert Mayer


Around 10 years ago, I bought a 2nd-hand book called Superfolks. The book cover with a washed-up super hero interested me and so I just had to buy and read it. At the time I didn’t think the book was anything remarkable. It was very ‘adult’ in tone with sex being an obvious theme that took the story away from a younger audience, but beyond the darker and more lurid themes, it was just another book.

This book has recently bubbled to the front of my book shelf and so I’ve taken a closer look. I have a 1979 edition of the novel first published in 1977. The story focuses on David Brinkley who’s superhero name is assumed to be Indigo, though it is never fully confirmed. Indigo has lost his powers due to an unknown enemy and all of the other superheroes references in the novel have retired, disappeared or are dead.


Of most interest to me are the number of heroes who get name-checked. Superman, Batman and Robin, Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman and, wait for it, Snoopy (!) all get a mention, though for most it is a description of how they met their comeuppance.

Another notable fact about the book is that it was influential in a number of comics in the 80’s and 90’s. Watchmen from Alan Moore might not have happened if not for Superfolks!