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Hugo Danner is a fictional character and the protagonist of Philip Wylie's 1930 novel Gladiator. Born in the late 19th century with superhuman abilities via prenatal chemical experimentation, Danner tries to use his powers for good, making him a precursor of the superhero.[1] However, Danner grows disillusioned with his inability to find a permanent outlet for his great strength, and dies frustrated.[2]

Apart from Wylie's novel, the character has also appeared in a feature film and publications by Marvel Comics and DC Comics. Comedic actor Joe E. Brown portrayed him in a 1938 movie adaptation of the book.[3] Decades later the character starred in an adaptation titled "Man-God" in Marvel's black-and-white comics-magazine Marvel Preview #9 (Winter 1976). He next appeared in DC's standard color comic book Young All-Stars in 1988 and 1989, as the estranged father of an illegitimate son named Iron Munro. In 2005, he returned in the comic-book miniseries Legend, published by the DC imprint Wildstorm. Here Danner, in the late 1960s, fights as a U.S. Army supersoldier in the Vietnam War rather than as a super Legionnaire in World War I.

Publication history Edit

Creation Edit

In early February 1930, Wylie described the inspiration for Danner's creation in the introduction to one of the earliest printings of Gladiator: Template:Quote

Development Edit

The novel begins during the closing years of the 19th century, as Colorado science Professor Abednego Danner searches for a way to improve the innate weaknesses of human biology and create a new "race that doesn't know fear — because it cannot know harm".[4] After 14 years of research he finally discovers "alkaline radicals" that vastly improve "muscular strength and the nervous discharge of energy".[5] Following very successful animal testing, which yields super-strong tadpoles and a bulletproof kitten capable of taking down cattle as prey, he injects this super-serum into the womb of his pregnant wife, Matilda. Hugo Danner is born on Christmas several months later.

His parents imbue him with a strong moral compass during his formative years and warn him never to use his great strength in anger. However, during kindergarten, Danner nearly kills the school's bully in a one-sided fight after being assaulted by the child. This event brands him as an outsider in the eyes of the other children. Because they treat him with such abhorrence, his only solace comes in the form of unleashing his powers within the Colorado wilderness (uprooting trees, throwing huge boulders, leaping to the mountain tops, etc.). This stigma eventually wears off, though, and is forgotten by the time Danner enters high school.

Danner leaves Colorado after graduating high school to attend Webster University. There, he becomes an unstoppable football star and the most popular boy in school. During the summer months, he works as a circus strong man and even enters a fight competition for money. However, after returning to college and accidentally killing another player during a game, he quits school and becomes a sailor. A year later, his ship is trapped in France by the outbreak of World War I in 1914.

He and a fellow American sign up with the French Foreign Legion and find themselves on the battlements after a short training period. He eventually reveals his powers to his Legionnaire superiors, who believe him to be a devil or supernatural Native American, and he is given free rein to roam the battlefield and kill as many German soldiers as he possibly can. Stories of "Le Colorado" (The Colorado) quickly spread from trench to trench and Danner becomes a sort of mythical hero. After a short stint in an American Legionnaire unit, Danner grows weary of war and devises a plan with an airplane:

Template:Quote

However, the Treaty of Versailles is signed the very day he prepares to leave, and so he is forced to abort his mission, much to his dismay. He returns to the United States and works in a number of professions — steel mill worker, bank teller, farm hand, and disarmament lobbyist — but his unique stature among mortal men forever brings him grief. He eventually offers his services to a noted history professor preparing a Mayan archaeological dig and travels with the group to the Yucatan Peninsula.

During the trip, Danner wonders if the Mayans and Egyptians had discovered the same formula as his father, "which could be poured into the veins of the slaves [who built the pyramids], making them stronger than engines".[6] There, he works as the head steward of the hired Mayan helpers and proves himself an asset to the team. But when a mishap reveals his great strength to the professor, the elderly man suggests Danner use his father's formula to create a new race of men known as the "Sons of Dawn",[7] who will use their powers to right the world's wrongs. The idea appeals to him at first, but Danner fears that these sons would also be hated by humanity for their superiority and treated much the same as himself. In the end, he climbs a mountain amidst an oncoming thunderstorm, and is struck dead by lightning while praying to God. The formula is lost in the resulting fire. The professor discovers his charred remains three days later and buries him among the Mayan ruins.

Powers and abilities Edit

Even during his early years, Danner displays superhuman strength. He demolishes his wooden crib as a newborn,[8] saves a man's life by lifting a two-ton supply wagon at 6 years old,[9] and uproots entire trees at 10.[10] He progressively grows stronger as he gets older. During his twenties, he can stop and kill a charging bull with a single punch,[11] bend a railroad rail,[12] lift a seventy-five millimeter howitzer cannon singlehandedly,[13] lift a car and its driver singlehandedly,[14] rip open a Template:Convert bank vault,[15] and easily catch a falling 8,000-pound block of stone.[16]

Danner's physical strength extends to his legs, allowing him to leap great heights and distances. At age 10 he can leap 40 feet into the air and run faster than a train.[10][17] During his freshman year in college, he easily breaks a world track record, though he actually doesn't run at his full speed.[18] While in the service of the French Foreign Legion in World War I, he traverses thirty-seven miles round trip in just thirty minutes (a speed of about 148 mph); all while carrying 2,000 pounds of food, water, and ammunition for his unit.[19] Despite his great strength, he is still susceptible to fatigue.

He first learns of his body's superior resistance to physical injury during the war.[20] Bullets and bayonets glance off his tough skin.[21] He believes he can even survive a plane crash.[22] The only weaponry capable of penetrating his skin at the time are the largest artillery shells.[23] Although, he still feels the effects of the elements, sweating under the heat of the sun and freezing during winter. Danner's only vulnerability is lightning, which ultimately kills him.[24]

Danner's bodily tissues have a somewhat greater density than those of an ordinary human being. Though he has an athletic build, his strength is far greater than what his frame would naturally allow. People guess him to be 155 pounds, but he actually weighs 211.[25] During his stint as a sailor, he goes pearl diving with the natives of Cristobal and is able to dive deeper and stay under longer because of his density.[26]

His body can heal damaged tissue much faster and more extensively than an ordinary human can. He collapses from exhaustion and wounds sustained from artillery shells after he goes berserk against the Germans to avenge a friend's death. When he wakes up in an army hospital, he finds "his wounds had healed without the necessity of a single stitch".[27] Long periods of comatose sleep (up to 20 hours) and the consuming of huge meals also aid in his regenerative process.[28] Hugo Danner is basically,the same powers as early Superman.

FilmEdit

Danner was portrayed by comedic actor Joe E. Brown in the 1938 film The Gladiator, which loosely adapted science-fiction drama as a comedy, and, among the many changes, renamed the protagonist "Hugo Kipp". The film begins when Kipp wins a large sum of money in a contest and decides to return to college. There, he is talked into joining the football team and fails to live up to his athletic father's legendary reputation. But after a Professor Danner (Lucien Littlefield) injects Kipp with a serum that gives him superhuman strength, he becomes an unstoppable player and wins the heart of the self-centered quarterback's girlfriend (June Travis). In the end, he faces Man Mountain Dean in a wrestling match, but the serum runs out at the last minute.[3]

Comics Edit

File:Man-God.jpg

In comics, Danner first appeared in the 52-page story "Man-God", by writer Roy Thomas and artist Tony DeZuniga (credited as Antony DeZuniga) in Marvel Comics' Marvel Preview #9 (Winter 1976). Only the first half of the novel is adapted.

Danner next appeared in DC Comics' Young All-Stars #9-11 (Feb.-April 1988) and #28-31 (Aug.-Nov. 1989), as the estranged father of Iron Munro, his illegitimate son. Munro was not a character or even a possibility in the original novel, where, as Danner's ailing scientist father explained, "the effect of the process is not inherited by the future generations. It must be done over each time".[29]

In this storyline, Munro comes into possession of his father’s diary and learns of Danner's troubled life as the 20th century’s first metahuman.[30] After having read the diary, Munro turns to the government's secret Project M, demanding to know the location of the "Dinosaur Island" mentioned by Danner. There he meets a person who leads him instead to Maple White Land in South America. Munro is surprised when he finds his father is alive. Danner apparently faked his death in the Yucatan and briefly returned home to have a one-night stand with his former high school sweetheart Anna Blake. The resulting union bore Munro, who took his surname from his mother's new husband (who believed the child to be his own).[31] Danner has, by this time, succeeded in rearing the first generation of the Sons of Dawn. He later reveals to the Young-All Stars that the villain Übermensch has stolen the formula in order to create his own race of supermen.[32]

Munro is forced to oppose his father when Danner orders the Sons of Dawn to attack a Brazilian city.[33] The combined might of the All-Star Squadron defeats the Sons of Dawn and Danner is killed during the final battle.[34]

Danner starred in the four-issue miniseries Legend (April–July 2005) by writer Howard Chaykin and artist Russ Heath, published by the DC imprint Wildstorm.[35] Cover blurbs on the first two issues read, "Inspired by Philip Wylie's Novel Gladiator". The story now takes place in the second half of the 20th century, with the Vietnam War replacing World War I, but the story remaining for the most part intact. Man-God (Hugo Danner, World War I hero)

MAN-GOD

Real Name: Hugo Danner

Identity/Class: Human (World War I era), enhanced by "alkaline radicals"

Occupation: Student, pearl diver, soldier

Group Membership: The French Foreign Legion Affiliations: See above

Enemies: The Second Reich

Known Relatives: Abednego (father), Matilda (mother)

Aliases: Gladiator (see Comments)

Base of Operations: World War I-era France

First Appearance: (historical) Gladiator (1929, published by Alfred A. Knopf); (Marvel) Marvel Preview#9 (Winter, 1976)

Powers: Hugo Danner posseses superhuman strength and durability. He can withstand gunfire and being stabbed by a knife without serious injury and can leap great distances.

History: (Marvel Preview#9 (fb) ) - College biology professor Abednego Danner lived with his wife Matilda in Indian Creek, Colorado. Having discovered certain alkaline radicals present in insect blood, Professor Danner injected the chemicals into a kitten. Growing up, the kitten gained fantastic strength and durability. Professor Danner was forced to poison the kitten.

However, when Danner discovered that Matilda was pregnant, he carefully drugged her and injected the fetus with the radicals. The result was that Hugo Danner (their son) grew up with superhuman strength. Able to bend steel bars with his hands even as a baby, the young Danner eventually decided to only use his powers discretely after an incident with a bully. His parents decided he should attend Webster College in New York to escape the prying eyes of Indian Spring. He joined the college football team.

One day, drinking with his friends, Hugo went to a hotel with a sleazy girl. Waking up to find that he'd been robbed, he considered using his powers to rob a jewelry store; bending the bars with his bare hands, he changed his mind, reshaping the bars back to their original shape. Instead he went to Coney Island, where he used his powers to win prize money in a boxing match. After that, he became a sideshow strongman.

Returning to college after the end of summer vacation, Hugo accidentally killed a young man during an important football game. Struck by remorse, Hugo left the United States, eventually becoming a pearl diver in the Pacific. He amassed a small fortune.

(Marvel Preview#9) - In 1914, Danner and fellow U.S. citizen Thomas Matthew Shayne joined the French Foreign Legion upon the outbreak of World War I. Discovering his body could withstand gunfire, Danner unleashed his power against the Germans, fighting dozens of Second Reich soldiers single-handedly. Especially enraged after Shayne's death, Danner had to be treated for psychological stress.

Having demonstrated his superhuman powers to his superiors, Danner was kept in sick bay as they discussed the creation of a special mission for him that would fit his gifts. After a few months, and an encounter with a college friend named Lefty who had become a soldier and been blinded, an enraged Danner sought out a plane to use to fly straight to Berlin. However, a nurse informed him of the surrender of Germany. Shocked, Danner was left without a purpose.

Although Hugo Danner has never appeared in another Marvel comic book, he remains a crucial part of comic book history. Why? In the 1930's, two young science fiction fans read Gladiator -- Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. They found the concept of a man with superhuman strength who could leap great distances "intriguing" -- so intriguing, that they created another such character, although this one later gained the ability to fly and found an outlet for his power over the years thwarting the malfeasance of the Ultra-Humanite, Luthor, Brainiac, Metallo, Mongul, the Toyman, Bizzaro, Darkseid, the Prankster, the Parasite, and so on. Hugo Danner, on the other hand, only got the chance to use his powers in combat against the Second Reich; he faced no super-villains in the novel, and to retain the feel of the novel in the adaption, Thomas also avoided using any super-villains.

Most of the novel does not detail Hugo using his powers for combat, but being unable to find a proper use for them. He feels frustrated and alienated because of his powers, feels as if he were a freak, and has various bittersweet lover affairs, but his powers keep people away and afraid of him. Now where have we heard that somewhere else? Spider-Man? The X-Men?

Still, apparently Hugo Danner is a public domain character, so nice quick flashback cameos showing him fighting Baron Blood (the only super-villain who worked for the Central Powers?) during World War I with Freedom's Five and Union Jack would be interesting -- or at least, if Danner is not public domain (as with Fu Manchu and Godzilla), they could just show him without naming him.

As should be clear from the history section, Danner never wore a costume or actually used a title or codename. The title of the original novel was Gladiator, but the cover to Marvel Preview#9 states "Marvel Preview Presents Man-God". The captions refer to Danner as Man-God, but no one in the story does. Still, when they decided to name the Superman analog in the Imperial Guard of the Shi'ar over in X-Men, Marvel's creators aptly chose the name of the novel that inspired Superman...Gladiator.

Marvel Preview#9 ends halfway through the Wylie novel. In the rest of the novel, Danner wanders around the U.S., going from job to job, reunites with his father, and attempts to use his powers against crooked politicians. However, there are too many for him to handle. Discovering from his father the formula that gave him his powers, Danner decides to lose himself in a South American archaeological dig. There, confiding with the wise leader of the expedition, Hugo entertains the thought of using his father's formula to create a whole race of people similar to himself ("the sons of the new dawn") to clean up the world's problems.

Unsure what to do, he goes to a mountaintop to ask God for advice. Danner is immediately struck dead by lightning. (This expreses Wylie's anti-clerical bent. Philip Wylie referred to religion as a "colossus of bigotry", and even slips in a reference in the narration of Gladiator to the fact that the Hebrews were originally polytheistic. Of course, lightning as a divine weapon is an idea that comes from Zeus and Thor, not the Hebrew Bible.)

DC ComicsEdit

Incidentally, Roy Thomas later picked up on the story of Hugo Danner at the Distinguished Competition. In the series Young All-Stars, Thomas introduced Iron Munro, the son of Danner. Taking the Danner story up to the 1940's, Thomas revealed that Danner faked his death, and did indeed create the superhuman Sons of the New Dawn. Eventually, the Young All-Stars defeated Danner, who had gone mad with rage. Template:DC Database:Character Template


Oh, and the Second Reich was the German government that existed from 1871-1918. It began immediately after the Franco-Prussian War (they say on an alternate world, Prussia lost the Franco-Prussian War; the superpowers of the Spanish dictator are as yet unexplained), proclaimed in the palace of Versailles in defeated France. The Second Reich joined with Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire to become the Central Powers during World War I. The Second Reich lasted till the end of World War I, when the Kaiser (Emperor) abdicated, and Germany became a democracy. The Second Reich's leaders included Wilhelm I, Frederick I, and Wilhelm II, of the Hohenzollern family. The current head of the Hohenzollern family is Friedrick George Ferdinand, who became head in 1994 upon his grandfather's death. In the Marvel Universe (as noted), Baron Blood seems to be the only super-villain who worked for the Second Reich.

Danner maybe was the inspiration for Superman but Jor-El never experimented on his son like these true copies of Hugo Danner --- Hercules son of Dr. David and the Danger Twins (Wally and Tom Danger) sons of Dr. Danger. I also see John Steele as a Timely Comics hero inspired by Hugo Danner because they are both Super-Strong military garbed heroes fighting during a World War. --GammatotemWhile Danner hasn't "officially" made it into the Marvel Universe yet, there's nothing really stopping him. Star-Lord, who also appeared mostly in Marvel Preview and other "non-continuity" series, recently was brought into continuity in the pages of the fourth Inhumans series--Snood.Danner was confirmed as an Earth-616 resident in Marvel Atlas#1. by John McDonagh, aka Per Degaton



Clarifications: Man-God should not be confused with:

Man-God, Maa-Gor after being mutated, @ Ka-Zar II#3 Stargod, John Jameson's identity in Other-Realm, @ Marvel Premiere#45 Gladiator, Kallark, leader of the Shi'ar Imperial Guard, @ X-Men I#107 Gladiator, Melvin Potter, retired Daredevil foe, @ Daredevil I#18 Gladiator, villain who took on Potter's identity, @ Daredevil I#366 Gladiator, Randy Kellog of the New Universe, @ Starbrand#10 Gladiator wannabe, was obsessed with super-villains @ Marvel Comics Presents#98/4 The Gladiators of the Mutant Theatre, @ Beauty and the Beast#1 Gladiatrix, Robin Braxton of the Grapplers, @ Thing#33 Appearances: Marvel Preview#9 (Winter, 1976) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), Tony DeZuniga (artist) Last updated: 08/02/02

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

All characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing! Please visit The Marvel Official Site at: http://www.marvel.com

Comparison with later heroes Edit

No confirmation exists that Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel was influenced by Gladiator.[36] He and co-creator Joe Shuster began developing Superman in 1934.

Superman as originally conceived came from an unnamed planet whose inhabitants were millions of years more evolved than humans. When they reached maturity, "the people of his race became gifted with titanic strength".[37] Their advanced evolution and great strength accounted for Superman's superhuman abilities on earth. As Siegel described them: "When maturity was reached, he discovered he could easily: leap Template:Fractionth of a mile; hurdle a twenty-story building...raise tremendous weights...run faster than an express train...and that nothing less than a bursting shell could penetrate his skin!"[37]

Siegel and Shuster compared Superman's strength and leaping abilities to those of an ant and a grasshopper, respectively,[38] as did Abednego for his son.[39] Danner also claims descent from a far-off land (Colorado) inhabited by a race of super-strong, indestructible men. In order to keep his true "experimental" origins a secret, he tells his Legionnaire superiors, "[Colorado is a] place in America. A place that has scarcely been explored. I was born there. All the men of Colorado are born as I was born and are like me. We are very strong. We are great fighters. We cannot be wounded except by the largest shells."[40] Other examples of similarities include both of their biological fathers are scientists (Jor-El and Abednego), both grow up in rural settings (Smallville and Indian Creek, Colorado), both are imbued with a strong moral compass from a young age[41] both lift cars over their heads,[14][42] and both hide their powers from the world.

One critic noted that Danner's "creation and upbringing by a scientist father recall Doc Savage's origins" and a "prototype for the famous scene in which the fledgling Spider-Man defeats a hulking wrestler to make money is found in Wylie's novel; Hugo's bout in the ring is similar to that in the Spider-Man's origin story in 1962's Amazing Fantasy #15."[1]


SpeculationEdit

Roga Danar is a tribute to Hugo Danner-one ofthe many literarry grandfathers of Superman.Hugo Danner-Roga Danar.Not too hard of a jump there.

Footnotes Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 ==Further reading==
    • ==Further reading==
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    • ==Further reading==
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    • {{cite book | first=Robert | last=Heinlein | authorlink= | date=1980 | title=Expanded Universe | edition= | publisher=Ace Books | location=New York |
    • {{cite book | first=Robert | last=Heinlein | authorlink= | date=1980 | title=Expanded Universe | edition= | publisher=Ace Books | location=New York |
  2. Wylie, Philip. Gladiator. New York: Shakespeare House, 1951.
  3. 3.0 3.1 ==Further reading==
    • ==Further reading==
    • Template loop detected: Template:Cite book
    • Template loop detected: Template:Cite book
    • {{cite book | first=Robert | last=Heinlein | authorlink= | date=1980 | title=Expanded Universe | edition= | publisher=Ace Books | location=New York |
    • ==Further reading==
    • Template loop detected: Template:Cite book
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    • {{cite book | first=Robert | last=Heinlein | authorlink= | date=1980 | title=Expanded Universe | edition= | publisher=Ace Books | location=New York |
    • {{cite book | first=Robert | last=Heinlein | authorlink= | date=1980 | title=Expanded Universe | edition= | publisher=Ace Books | location=New York |
  4. Wylie: p. 16.
  5. Wylie: pp. 4–5.
  6. Wylie, p. 178.
  7. Wylie, p. 185.
  8. Wylie: p. 17.
  9. Wylie: p. 24.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Wylie: p. 28.
  11. Wylie: p. 150.
  12. Wylie: p. 67.
  13. Wylie: pp. 102–103.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Wylie: p. 141.
  15. Wylie: p. 136.
  16. Wylie: p. 182.
  17. Wylie: p. 26.
  18. Wylie: pp. 40–41.
  19. Wylie: pp. 99–100.
  20. Wylie: p. 97.
  21. Wylie: pp. 100, 108–109.
  22. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named w120
  23. Wylie: pp. 101, 108.
  24. Wylie: p. 187.
  25. Wylie: p. 43.
  26. Wylie: p. 88.
  27. Wylie: p. 110.
  28. Wylie: pp. 26, 100.
  29. Wylie: p. 158.
  30. Young All-Stars # 9–10.
  31. Young All-Stars #9.
  32. Young All-Stars #29 (Sept. 1989)
  33. 'Young All-Stars' #30 (Oct. 1989)
  34. Young All-Stars #31 (Nov. 1989)
  35. ==Further reading==
    • ==Further reading==
    • Template loop detected: Template:Cite book
    • Template loop detected: Template:Cite book
    • {{cite book | first=Robert | last=Heinlein | authorlink= | date=1980 | title=Expanded Universe | edition= | publisher=Ace Books | location=New York |
    • ==Further reading==
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    • Template loop detected: Template:Cite book
    • {{cite book | first=Robert | last=Heinlein | authorlink= | date=1980 | title=Expanded Universe | edition= | publisher=Ace Books | location=New York |
    • {{cite book | first=Robert | last=Heinlein | authorlink= | date=1980 | title=Expanded Universe | edition= | publisher=Ace Books | location=New York |
  36. 6 Famous Characters You Didn't Know Were Shameless Rip Offs
  37. 37.0 37.1 Action Comics #1 (June 1938)
  38. Template:Comic book reference
  39. Wylie: pp. 4, 29.
  40. Wylie: p. 101.
  41. Wylie: pp. 90–121.
  42. Action Comics #1, p. 9.
Footnotes

Edit Lalumière, Claude. "Classic Science Fiction Reviews: Gladiator". Scifi.com. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-21. Wylie, Philip. Gladiator. New York: Shakespeare House, 1951. "The Gladiator (1938)". The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-10-05. Wylie, Philip. "Gladiator". The Book League Monthly vol. III, no. 5 (March 1930) Wylie: p. 16. Wylie: pp. 4–5. Wylie: p. 120. Wylie, p. 178. Wylie, p. 185. Wylie: p. 17. Wylie: p. 24. Wylie: p. 28. Wylie: p. 150. Wylie: p. 67. Wylie: pp. 102–103. Wylie: p. 141. Wylie: p. 136. Wylie: p. 182. Wylie: p. 26. Wylie: pp. 40–41. Wylie: pp. 99–100. Wylie: p. 97. Wylie: pp. 100, 108–109. Wylie: pp. 101, 108. Wylie: p. 187. Wylie: p. 43. Wylie: p. 88. Wylie: p. 110. Wylie: pp. 26, 100. Wylie: p. 158. Young All-Stars # 9–10. Young All-Stars #9. Young All-Stars #29 (Sept. 1989) 'Young All-Stars' #30 (Oct. 1989) Young All-Stars #31 (Nov. 1989) "Legend". The Comic Book Database. Retrieved 2007-10-03. 6 Famous Characters You Didn't Know Were Shameless Rip Offs Action Comics #1 (June 1938) Siegel, Jerry (w), Shuster, Joe (a). "A Scientific Explanation of Superman's Amazing Strength--!" Superman 1 (Summer 1939), National Periodical Publications Wylie: pp. 4, 29. Wylie: p. 101. Wylie: pp. 90–121. Action Comics #1, p. 9.

Troupe GladiatorEdit

Literature / Gladiator Main , Hugo Danner strange visitor from another place,fights a never-ending battle for truth,justice and the American way.Oh wait !That is that more famous guy from the distant planet Krypton,who came after him. Awesome

QuotesEdit

Funny  TriviaEdit

when my lawyer get a hold of the Superman,guy,he will be so screwed.Fuck Superman vs the Original Captain Marvel,and that Shazam shit.The original Captain Marvel vs Captain Mar-Vell,Ms.Captain Marvel,those guys owe me decades of money,filling me off.Dicks


Artistic License…allot of people,used artistic license to rip off Hugo Danner. Create New

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gladiator_1_3.jpg

GladiatorEdit

A novel written in 1926 and published in 1930 by Philip Wylie, not to be confused with the 2000 movie of the same name. Not great literature, but truly genre-making concept for others like Superman and grand children's children to follow. The story of Hugo Danner, whose professor father experimented on him as a fetus, so that he developed a reasonable degree of Invulnerability and Super Strength. The plot is mainly concerned with Danner dealing with his singular condition as he attempts to find a useful place in society, which turns out to be harder than you'd think.

He suffers the guilt of killing another player on the field when he plays football and drops out of college. He gets a job in a bank, but finds he has to save a man who will suffocate inside a safe by ripping the safe open, leading his employers to attempt to find out how he managed it through (ineffectual) torture and ultimately lose his job. He has another job as a manual laborer, but loses that because he's making the other workers look bad. He finds some use for his abilities in World War I, and is about to attempt to end the war single-handed when it ends of its own accord. He is ultimately appalled by the whole experience. Eventually, while helping on an expedition amongst the Mayan ruins, he takes the expedition leader into his confidence. They discuss the possibility of creating more people like himself, to be used to improve the world. Deeply concerned with the possibility, he stands on a mountain in a storm and asks God to judge. God provides his answer.The

Note:

Gladiator is the name the Marvel Comics version of Superman.

Strange TroupesEdit

This work is mainly significant because it may be the first modern depiction of a superhero, and seems to have been a great influence on the story of Superman and Doc Savage. It also provides part of the backstory of "Iron" Munro from The Young All-Stars.

Contains examples of: Accidental Murder: When Danner gets into a fight with one of his teammates on the college football team, he winds up snapping his neck with only a few punches. Arcadian Interlude: The time Danner spends as a farmhand. This example contains a YMMV entry. It should be moved to the YMMV tab.It drags out for a while and doesn’t really contribute to the story.


  • Disposable Superhero Maker: One of the earliest examples, since the serum seems to only affect embryos, and Abednego never published his results.

Does Not Know His Own Strength Downer Ending Global Ignorance: Apparently most Frenchmen in the early 20th century did not know that Colorado exists, as the captain of the Foreign Legion accepts Danner's lie that his super strength is because of his place of origin. note



  • Guinea Pig Family: Abednego Danner injects his pregnant wife with his Super Serum, explaining Hugo's abilities.

Hope Spot: Every single time it looks like something good will happen to Danner, circumstances conspire to leave him as bad off as when he started. Humans Are Bastards: Which is why Danner can't change society.

  • And he's Not So Above It All.

It Gets Easier: As a child, when Danner thinks he killed a bully, he freaks out, even though the kid lives. Then, when he accidentally kills a teammate in college, he has a Heroic BSoD and quits school, even though nobody blames him for it. Then he enlists in the French Foreign Legion and starts killing the enemy left and right, without really caring. As the war goes on and his friends die, he ineffectually tries to cut the war short, and becomes a pacifist after it's over.


Kafka Komedy: Danner getting fired from a steel mill for being too good at his job, and then immediately getting arrested on suspicion of being a safecracker (and not given the opportunity to defend himself) after saving a coworker's life, really can't be considered anything else.


  • Lamarck Was Right: Played With, in that Danner was already conceived at the time that his mother was subjected to the experiment, however, his father later states that any children of Hugo's would not inherit his Super Strength unless they too were given the serum.


  • Madden Into Misanthropy: Once Skorvsky proves that even his movement cares more about money and martyrdom than people's lives, Danner tells him to Get Out!, and contemplates derailing a train to punish those Puny Earthlings for being venal and selfish, but decides against it. He doesn't regain his purpose until he goes on the Mayan expedition. And we all know how that turns out...


Mundane Utility: Deconstructed because Hugo Danner attempts to find a use for his Invulnerability and Super Strength doomed his life: As a child, he tries to be a Bully Hunter and almost kills The Bully, scaring all the other kids who consider him a Enfant Terrible when he really is a Nice Guy. As a young man, he tries to go to college as a Scholarship Student, but he Does Not Know His Own Strength and commits an Accidental Murder. He has to drop out college.


  • Trapped in World War I, he becomes a Super Soldier killing as many German soldiers as he can for the French Foreign Legion. He decides to become a useful Super Soldier by Instant-Win Condition: hijacking a plane, infiltrating Germany and killing the German Emperor and his generals to force a Decapitated Army.
  • Unfortunately, Reality Ensues and the war ends on its own accord.

Later he tries to be a bank teller, but he has to rip the safe open to save the life of a man. His boss considers him a peril and tries to torture him into the truth. Hugo has Invulnerability and he cannot convince his boss of his sincerity, so his boss only fires him. Later he does a good job in an Steel Mill and as a farm laborer, but he makes the other workers look bad, so he has to quit. When he tries to be an Adventurer Archaeologist, he compares the Egyptians and Mayans and tries to explain his own life and realizes that he is This example contains a YMMV entry. It should be moved to the YMMV tab.

  • The Woobie. That motivates him to Rage Against the Heavens and gets a Bolt of Divine Retribution.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Instead of being thanked for saving a fellow employee from suffocating in a bank vault, Danner is immediately suspected for planning to rob the bank with his super strength at a later date, and is promptly fired and interrogated.


  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Justified, in that Abednego did keep notes of his process and results, but was too afraid to publish them for fear of what would happen. Later, they are destroyed by the lightning strike that kills Hugo.

One-Word Title Only in It for the Money: Danner's beliefs that Skorvsky is this is what makes him leave the reformers.


  • Police Brutality: The NYPD is under the control of Corrupt Corporate Executives, and tries to get a confession out of Danner through torture.

Proto-Superhero Redemption Equals Death: Ralph Shayne only respects his son Tom after the latter is killed in action in World War I.


  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Even in the very first superhero story. Danner is only able to save a handful of lives, from fires and the like. Once he enters the war, he can only kill soldiers in a berserk rage— when he finally acquires an airplane and can fly straight to the Kaiser to force an end to the conflict, it's too late because the Armistice just happened. His attempts to intimidate amoral lobbyists fail because Humans Are Bastards.
  • Professor Hardin suggests using the super serum to create a whole race of idealists like Danner, but this never happens because of Danner's swift death. He can't even save his girlfriend from poverty— she leaves him because she thinks that she would hold his college education back otherwise.

Secret Identity: Danner gets a job as a circus strongman under the pseudonym of "Hogarth Smith" in order to keep his promise to his parents that his strength will be kept a secret. However, his college friends see through it immediately.


  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Danner meets his end by getting struck by lightning after expressing doubts on whether he should enact Hardin's plan, ultimately without ever making any impact on society. Only a handful of people will ever know of his deeds.

Shooting Superman Significant Birth Date: Danner was born on Christmas. The analogy should be obvious.


  • Tall Poppy Syndrome: Hugo loses his job at the steel mill because he's outproducing the other workers with his strength, and making them look bad.

The Gay '90s: Extrapolating from the First World War breaking out a year after Danner quits college in his sophomore year suggests that he was born on Christmas Day, 1893. Unbuilt Trope: For Superman specifically, and super-powered superheroes in general.


  • Deconstruction: What actually having Super Strength would be like, and the extent to which superheroes could affect the trajectory of history, if at all.

With Great Power

ReferencesEdit

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