The woman in question turned out to be the niece of the late Jerry Siegel, who came up with the idea for Superman with partner Joe Shuster in the 1930s. She told him that Siegels father died during a robbery when Jerry was a teenager and while investigating the circumstances of this tragedy, Meltzer grew convinced that the incident spurred Supermans invention. As Meltzer puts it, Siegels father died during a crime, and then he goes on to create the worlds greatest crimefighter and nobody knows the story.
As a longtime comics fan whose credits in the medium include an acclaimed Justice League of America series co-starring the Man of Steel, Meltzer was fascinated by this revelation but he felt that building an entire book around the information was maybe even a little bit too geeky for me, and thats saying something. Instead, he used the material as a thread in Lies, a complex tale that includes a search for the original weapon with which Cain slew Abel and the troubled relationship between a contemporary father and son inspired by my own personal baggage, he admits.
The combination is as unlikely as it is meaningful to Meltzer. This is as honest as Ive ever been with my readership, he maintains. And it involves arguably two of my favorite stories ever told, Cain and Abel and Superman as crazy as it is to say in the same sentence.
Meltzer takes the podium at 7:30 p.m. at the Tattered Cover Highlands Ranch, 9315 Dorchester Street; admission is free. Learn more at 303-470-7050 or www.tatteredcover.com and read an extended Meltzer Q&A at blogs.westword.com/latestword.
Thu., Sept. 11, 2008