” Gladiator ” by Philip Gordon Wylie is a science fiction novel originally published in 1930 . The edition I read has 232 pages .
In 20th century Colorado a Dr. Danner is creating a serum to improve mankind . He first uses it on a cat and the cat goes a little psycho so the doctor is forced to dispose of it . Then the doctor discovers his wife is pregnant and like all great scientists he won’t let a perfectly good test subject go to waste . He injects his son ( Hugo ) with the serum . The rest of the story follows Hugo as he grows up with superpowers and learns that they aren’t all they’re cracked up to be . A tale of questionable scientific ethics , killer cats , football accidents , carny work , romance , World War 1 , and much more , come check out this old school science fiction classic .
I enjoyed this book immensely . It’s a dark sci-fi satire story that has made a huge impact on the superhero genre . Reading it I noticed parts that would later be used in The Hulk , Superman , and Captain America just to name a few . If you like science fiction or would like to see the literary roots of some of your favorite comic book characters then this is the book for you .