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  Order: #315  

Superman (v1) #1 [A Story]

"Superman, Champion of the Oppressed"
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Superman (v1) #1 [A Story]
Universe:   Earth-Two 
Editor: Vincent Sullivan
Writer: Jerry Siegel
Penciler: Joe Shuster
Cover Artist : Joe Shuster
Cover Date : June 1939
On Sale Date: May 1939
Story Arc: -
Pages: 18
Cover Price : $0.10
Users Read: 49 Users Rated: 32
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Detective Comics (v1) #28 [E Story]
Detective Comics (v1) #28 [J Story]
Superman (v1) #1 [A Story]
Superman (v1) #1 [E Story]
All-American Comics (v1) #4 [A Story]
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A strange rocket from the doomed planet Krypton brings a small child to Earth, with abilities far and beyond those of ordinary human beings, who is raised by a kind elderly couple to be a champion of the weak and oppressed.
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Character Appearances
Main Characters
  Superman last appeared in Detective Comics (v1) #28 [B Story]. Superman next appears in Action Comics (v1) #14 [A Story].

Supporting Characters
  Beatrice Carroll
  Beatrice Carroll last appeared in Action Comics (v1) #1 [A Story].

  Lois Lane
  Lois Lane last appeared in New York World[appost]s Fair Comics 1939 [A Story]. Lois Lane next appears in Action Comics (v1) #15 [A Story].

Other Characters
  Butch Matson
  Butch Matson last appeared in Action Comics (v1) #1 [A Story].

  George Taylor
  George Taylor last appeared in New York World[appost]s Fair Comics 1939 [A Story]. George Taylor next appears in Action Comics (v1) #14 [A Story].

  Pa Kent First Appearance   
  This is Pa Kent's only appearance.

  Ma Kent First Appearance   
  This is Ma Kent's only appearance.

  Senator Barrows
  Senator Barrows last appeared in Action Comics (v1) #1 [A Story].

Group Appearances
Daily Star
Daily Star last appeared in Action Comics (v1) #1 [A Story]. Daily Star next appears in Action Comics (v1) #15 [A Story].
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Issue Notes
  There are no notes for this issue.

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Issue Synopsis
There is not synopsis for this title.

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  Ice Says:    
  2017-12-09 13:27:13  
  I sure love that iconic cover image.

First re-telling of Superman's origin story here. I bet we'll see that again later. The retelling of the early origin was expected, but I wasn't expecting SO MUCH of the original debut to be reused. By my count, there's only six pages of new content and the rest is reprints of Action Comics 1 and 2. It makes for a good intro for new readers but might be a little disappointing for your average DCRO reader.

They add some very important details to Supes' origin. First time they've explicitly said he was from Krypton, not just a distant planet. First time seeing Clark as a young boy (with customary red and blue colored clothes, of course). First time mentioning he was adopted and debut of Ma and Pa Kent. ...Wait, "Mary"? I wonder when she becomes Martha Kent.

Interestingly, even the "ants have superpowers too" bit from Action #1 is revised in this issue in a one page "scientific explanation" of Superman's powers. Waste not, want not.

It's tough to rate this. The new pages certainly enrich the story and have some important information, but the bulk of the story is reprints. Even that iconic cover appears to be slightly revised art from Action #10.

..."th' murder of Jack Kennedy"...eesh. There's some tragic real world foreshadowing...

  Russ Says:    
  2018-01-04 21:17:39  
  Yep, this is a revised account of Action #1 with more details added, notably to the origin. We don't have a full origin story yet but this gives enough information to the reader going forward for the time being. It finally names the planet Superman came from as Krypton. It also fleshes out the earliest appearances that the story in Action #1 doesn't detail; starting with Clark's attempt at getting a reporting job (and failing at first), stopping the lynching, and visiting Bea Carroll at the nightclub. We've seen everything else from the visit to the governor onward. So yeah, us DC Order readers will be quite disappointed, and this isn't a classic Superman tale of the ages, but it's a serviceable introduction and brings new readers in 1939 more up to date.

The issue as a whole mostly works as a digest; it reprints the Superman stories in Action #2-4 as well (the San Monte war, the miners, and the corrupt football coach).

3 stars, but you can't overlook the importance of this issue. Not only is this the most fleshed out origin of Superman to this point, but it's also the first time a superhero gets his own title. Jerry and Joe are really making history here!

  thatsAgoodONE11 Says:    
  2018-01-13 12:20:47  
  I may be a bit hypocritical here when I rate this, as I absolutely hate those Clock stories that re-purposed panels wot create "new" stories, but the historic significance of this is too big to ignore. It's Superman #1, which paves the way for all of the other heroes to get their own titles. Granted, this is published quarterly early on, but this still gives the character so much weight.

This is also the first appearance of Ma and Pa Kent, which only adds to the historic significance. We don't see much of them here as they are in and out pretty quickly, but its still cool to see the seeds being planted. The mention of Krypton for the first time is also chilling.

I really didn't like the re-use of so many panels from Action #1 (I really didn't like them using the final panel that promotes Action Comics - they should have at least modified it to promote the Superman title), but I have to give Siegel and Shuster a pass here. If this was Superman #20, I would be a little more critical. Let readers catch up on Superman's adventures from the previous year of Action Comics, and then give us some new stories.


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