Superman: The Dailies 1939-1942

Superman: The Dailies 1939-1942

by Jerry Siegel

These formative stories star a Man of Steel who boldly tackles the social injustices of his day.This deluxe edition collects the first three years of the classic Superman comic strips as written and illustrated by the Man of Steel's creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.Critical elements in the Superman mythos were introduced in the strips in this volume, which originally appeared from 1939 to 1942.

Inside this book are nearly 1,000 daily newspaper strips, including the classic stories of Superman's origin along with "Clark KentSpy," "Superman Goes to War," "The Unknown' Strikes," and "The Hooded Saboteur."Born 1914 in Cleveland, Ohio, Jerome Siegel was, as a teenager, a fan of the emerging literary genre that came to be known as science fiction.

Together with schoolmate Joe Shuster, Siegel published several science-fiction fan magazines and, in 1933, they came up with their own science-fiction hero Superman.

Siegel scripted and Shuster drew several weeks' worth of newspaper strips featuring their new creation but garnered no interest from publishers or newspaper syndicates.

It wasn't until the two established themselves as reliable adventure-strip creators at DC Comics that the editors at DC offered to take a chance on the Superman material provided it was re-pasted into comic-book format for DC's new magazine, ACTION COMICS.Siegel wrote the adventures of Superman (as well as other DC heroes, most notably the Spectre, his co-creation with Bernard Baily) through 1948 and then again from 1959-1966, in the interim scripting several newspaper strips including Funnyman and Ken Winston.

In 1936, he and Siegel began providing DC Comics with such new features as Dr. Occult, Slam Bradley, and Radio Squad before selling Superman to DC in 1938.Influenced by such comic-strip greats as Wash Tubbs' Roy Crane, Joe Shuster drew Superman through 1947, after which he left comic books to create the comic strip Funnyman, again with Siegel.

What People Think about "Superman: The Dailies 1939-1942"

The series improved markedly over time, and the first volume's strips are actually pretty mediocre compared to those in the third. Initially, the Superman comic strip series is a crime series, providing the sorts of stories that we'd today more associate with Batman. Frankly, these crime stories aren't particularly original, even by the standards of the time, and there are no super villains and no science fiction plots beyond Superman's origin (which is told in the first twelve strips and then virtually ignored). The Clark/Lois/Superman dynamic is fresh here and provides some good moments. Editor George Taylor (He will later be replaced by Perry White, a character introduced on the 1940s Superman radio show.) continually assigns Lois puff pieces for the society page. It ultimately proves a fun trip with likable characters, and a virtual must-have for fans of Superman, classic comic strips and World War II era pop culture.

In 1938, the first adventure of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shusters creation Superman saw print. With the celebrations and festivities filling the Geek world this year for the 75th birthday of Superman, I decided some time ago to finally read my accumulation of Golden Age volumes featuring the Man Of Steel. Siegel the writer and Shuster the artist created and recreated their Superman many times over the years, hoping to eventually make it into a newspaper strip, which at the time was considered the prized destination for all truly great comic strips. The rest of the tale has Superman striving to clear the condemned man in time, and along the way he storms the Governors mansion. By that time many artists, who had already been ghosting for years for Shuster, who suffered from extremely bad eyesight, became a lot more noticeable. The super senses are present and accounted for right off the bat, and the X-ray vision slips into the story like it was there all along. But in so many ways, these lookbacks to 75 years ago helps us see how far these concepts and characters have come. A man who will make you believe a leap can become flying.

I actually enjoy the dailies more than some of the early Action Comics issues.