Why did I love this book?
I wasn't a fan of comics growing up, and I never met Lev Gleason—he died five years before I was born. My mother would tell me stories about her flamboyant, free-spending uncle from New York City, and I especially loved hearing about Uncle Lev's Day: once a year, Lev would drive to my mother's house near Boston, pile her and her friends into his gleaming aqua Packard, and head for the mall, where everyone was free to buy whatever their hearts desired--courtesy of Uncle Lev. He was my mother's Emperor of Ice Cream! I knew he had made a fortune in comic books in the 1940s—and lost it all when his business collapsed in the 1950s. That's about it.
It really wasn't until I picked up Michael’s novel during my last year of law school—when I should have been studying for finals—that I thought to find out why. His chosen milieu was exactly the one in which Lev made it big as a publisher, and the anti-fascist superhero at the novel's heart sounded awfully familiar.