Thursday, April 18, 2013

Happy Anniversary Action Comics #1, 75 Years Strong

It is hard to believe but 75 years ago today Action Comics #1 hit the newsstands, introducing Superman to the world.

What has happened after that is legend. A caped figure hoisting a car was something new in the market. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's strange visitor from another world swept the planet.  Superman became the father of a whole genre of comics, becoming a worldwide recognized character, the epitome of heroism, fighting for Truth, Justice, and The American Way. We met Clark Kent and Lois Lane, intrepid reporters. And we saw incredible strength and nigh-invulnerability for the first time! Suddenly 'super-hero' was a word.

I am sure that other sites are going to do much more comprehensive reviews of the impact of Action Comics #1 and Superman. So I figured I would instead do a quick homage post about Action Comics #1 and Supergirl.

Back during the 'Death of Superman' era, with Superman presumably interred, Matrix Supergirl took it upon herself to fill his void, becoming the 'All-New Metropolis Marvel'. What better way to show how she was being introduced into this role than by doing this homage cover to the original, the iconic pose of Supergirl now hoisting and smashing the car dominating the central part of the cover. But I have to applaud artist Jackson 'Butch' Guice including the men fleeing the scene, including the one in the lower left hand corner. His exasperated look on Shuster's cover has always stuck out in my mind so it is funny to see that reproduced as well.

I think Matrix grew immensely in this arc.

And many of you know I loved Peter David's Fallen Angel comic, both the DC and IDW version. I think David sort of 'nudge nudge wink-wink' continued Linda Danvers story from Supergirl in Fallen Angel.

Once the book moved to IDW, David removed the 'Is she Linda' argument completely, writing the Angel's true origin story as a literal angel called Liandra who was banished to Earth. But David also decided to maybe slip in one more chapter to Linda's story. A young woman with powers named Linda was the 'first Fallen Angel' of the city of Bete Noire. In a quick 2-parter, she returns and teams up with Liandra for an adventure.

To keep the 'Danvers-ness' aspect of the story high, artist Kristian Donaldson adorned the issues with homage covers including this version of Action Comics #1, here Linda smashing the car while Lee oversees in the background. (The second part has an homage cover to Crisis on Infinite Earths #7).

Happy Birthday Superman, Clark Kent, and Lois Lane!


Martin Gray said...

Happy Super-Birthday! I'd fallen off Fallen Angel by the time of that Liandra story ... I really must catch up on unread copies and get to the end

ealperin said...

LOVE that you included the Fallen Angel homage in this! I'm sure there are more Super-well kind of Super-related comic book spreads from the past couple of years. Guess I may have to dust a few off & pull some up on my Tumblr, soon! ;)