By Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster
(DC Comics) ISBN 1-84576-435-8
Here’s another welcome cheap-and-cheerful soft-cover collection of the earliest stories of the Man of Steel who quite literally spawned a genre, if not an actual art form. The rough, uncontrollable, wish-fulfilling exuberance is still present throughout, although Siegel and Shuster are swiftly polishing their craft with each story. These tales of the righteous, empowered man dealing out summary justice to wife-beaters, reckless drivers and exploitative capitalists as well as thugs and ne’er-do-wells captured the imagination of a generation, and are presented in totality and chronological order from Action Comics #14 (July 1939) through #20 (January 1940), and issues #2 and 3 of his own solo title.
To be strictly accurate, only the first and last strips from issue 3 appear in this volume, but they’re still great and I’m sure the remainder of the issue will appear in the next volume.
In this volume you’ll meet the first ever returning foe (us lags call ‘em “arch-enemies”), The Ultra Humanite – twice!, plus a rip-roaring mix of hoods, masterminds, plagues, disasters, lost kids and distressed damsels – all dealt with in a direct and captivating manner by our relentlessly entertaining champion in summarily swift and decisive fashion. No continued stories here!
Read these yarns and you’ll understand why today’s creators keep returning to this material every time they need to revamp the big guy. They are simply timeless, enthralling, and great.
© 1939, 1940, 2007 DC Comics. All Rights Reserved.