Monday, November 1, 2010

Action Comics #1


The man of steel! The man of tomorrow! The man who will wreck your stuff!


Jessica said...

ok Secret Origins Month is going to kick so much ass

and Action Comics #1 kicking off a long long tradition of Superman being a dick!

areoborg said...

Linkara can punch holes through space and time!

Derek the Bard said...

Fun episode. Its interesting to see how much Supes has changes over the decades. The Liz cameo was also funny.

As to the "thru vs through" issue. I suspect that the misspelling came from the need to fit the wording into the smaller line space. Printers have been doing that since the Gutenberg days (leading to many questions about why some of the most famous and fundamental books have such lousy spelling).

Oh, for those early comic book printing days, when the words "Clint" and "flick" were outlawed because of those nasty misprinting issues.

CMWaters said...

All right, first off…why can I actually picture you driving a car like seen in your title card for some reason?

Comics back then were only $0.10, huh? Judging by some of the stuff you’ve reviewed on the show, some more RECENT comic should be worth that or LESS these days. Especially the stuff during the Dark Age of Comics.

I’ll have to bust out that “Money was so much better during The Great Depression” line someday, somehow.

Fun thing to try everyone: Just how many times has that pose on the cover of Action Comics #1 been referenced over the years?

Only “A Distant Planet”? Guess that Krypton didn’t get invented as a term yet.

I actually HAD an inflatable chair that looked similar to that one.

I wonder what is the weirder “how did you discover this” story…this or Neutro’s riding of whales and destroying cities?

Though you didn’t mention it in the review, instead cutting to the “Of course, don’t you know anything about science!?” joke, I do chuckle at the fact they liken Superman’s Golden Age powers to BUGS. …wonder if there was someone with that level of power in Scorpius and Trakeena’s ranks in Power Rangers: Lost Galaxy.

Breaking public property and leaving a woman tied up. Ladies and gentlemen, the first instance of Superdickery! Also, with the steel door in the governor’s mansion as well as a private chamber, why do I get the feeling that if this were a Silver Age story, he’d turn out to be a Supervillain?

You noticed that this comic eventually led to “Superman At Earth’s End”…why do I see this comic’s first story as a link to the Superman: The Animated Series episode “The Late Mr. Kent”? And for that matter, the silly little clock could be an inspiration for an episode of M*A*S*H.

…why’d you play Perry White (I’m assuming that’s the editor for the Daily Star) like J. Jonah Jameson there? And yes, I can actually see Jameson saying that line about the wife beating pictures.

That “I AM A MAN” gag with Liz made me snort Cherry Coke Zero out of my nose I was laughing so hard.

Golden Age Clark Kent: How I picture Charlie Brown would grow up like if he DIDN’T just snap and start killing everyone.

…Superman climbing that pole in the way that he is is…unique for a visual, I’ll say that.

Notice they don’t show Kent either being fired or reprimanded for NOT doing his job and going to the foreign country. Guess job requirements were a lot more lax back in 1938.

Superman hanging on a wall = Stan Lee and Steve Ditko thinking “Hey, what if there was someone who had powers to climb walls like that? You know, like a spider…a Spider-Man, if you will…” But that’s for next week.

No “Because Poor Literacy is KEWL!” joke for the use of “Thru”?

Does “The Physics of Superheroes” explain how Superman can fly?

“Superman is destined to change destiny of the world”. …well, at least the pop-culture world, they were kind of right about this.

OK, for a book called “ACTION COMICS”, I can understand the Superman story, the two Westerns, the Zatara story, and MAYBE the boxing story…but why the HUMOR comic and the CRIME DRAMA? For the latter, was Detective Comics #1 either not released or too jam-packed to include It in THAT book?

Also, no reference to Zatara being modern super-heroine Zatanna’s father?

And lastly, picturing Superman busting through a wall and going “OH YEAH!” is quite humorous to me.

All in all, this was a fun little romp into the past right here. Can’t wait to see how Spidey, Bats and the X-Men hold up in their origins in comparison.

Jurf Rokstar said...

Best "I Am A Man!" joke yet. That and Superman was a douche. Can't wait for the Spider-man one.

NickG said...

This was a really good episode i like the idea of seeing were these iconic characters come from, though i had always thought that the original Superman had his powers because he was a heavy-worlder. By the way love the book i attended lectures by the guy who wrote it. Go U of M.

Frankie Addiego said...

When I first saw that you were doing AC#1, I was ready to go out for blood. But like you said, it was all in good fun.

It should probably have been noted that Superman #1 was a sort-of "director's cut" of Superman's stories the first four issues of AC and you could've picked on his costume completely changing in the blink of an eye.

Rahkshi Lord said...

Wow, I had no idea that Supermen was originally planned to be a comic strip, You lean something new every day.

And I can see why they gave up the hopping thing for flying, much less awkward.

Mountain King said...

Okay, so the I am a MAN! punch can bend reality. We knew this, but does this make Linkara a version of Superboy Prime? If so I am very worried.

Scratch that I'm more than worried. Could this mean that all of Linkara's complaints are just another aspect of the super-whiner and his attempt to render everything DC is doing today mute? This adds a sinister edge to the whole atop the fourth wall series. For the fir!t time I'm wondering if Lord Vyce is a hero"

Anyway, the only way you can do secret origins month is as a look back at the birth of golden age with today's sensibilities and laugh. Which is what I guess you are doing here. I won't say it was a more innocent time, but it was aimed at a completely different audience. They were a lot less jaded back then and had a different, more reserved, outlook on life. As such this could be be an interesting month, as long as you avoid the Super-boy Prime analogies.

Otherwise this was a fun little episode that touched on all the right elements, and I did learn something, I thought Superman's alien origins were concocted as part of the Silver Age. After reading the screen captures I guess it was the name "Krypton" that came about during the silver age. Much like Doctor Who, when Galifray was named during the Third Doctors stint.

Oh no, I've just started the argument about how the Doctor is the British equivalent of Superman. Help I've created the worst geek argument since Han shooting second...

Good episode, fun and informative.

AKA Mountain King

David Monticchio said...

I noticed that the perspective is off on the cover. Superman's feet are planted further down than where the rock starts. It looks like Supes is in front of the rock so there is no way he could have hit the car with it.

Also...if the explanation is that supe's powers are developed when his species matures....why does he have super strength as a baby? Does that mean people of Krypton hit puberty once exiting the womb?

A Tribe Called Helloween said...

"Money was so much better during the great depression!


Best. line. evar!!

SchweitzerMan said...

At first I thought, "Holy crap, he's got his hands on Action Comics #1" but then I figured, "No, probably just a scan."

The bouncy scene had me laughing a lot more than I thought it would.

I am really looking forward to Batman's origin story...if that's on the schedule of course.

"Smell my hands."-Funniest part of the whole show

Anonymous said...

"…why’d you play Perry White (I’m assuming that’s the editor for the Daily Star) like J. Jonah Jameson there? And yes, I can actually see Jameson saying that line about the wife beating pictures."

That's George Taylor. Perry White came along in late 1940. Yes, Superman had another boss in the early days. (And in ACTION #2, the Daily Star was replaced with the Cleveland Evening News. They hadn't pinned down where the series took place at that point.)

Brian A. Henegar said...

Actually the "thru/through" thing may come from what was called the Simplified Spelling Method" that was all the rage back in the early 20th century. Thomas Edison spent $25,000 on it, but it never caught on.

Oracle said...

I am so excite!
Superman is my fellow's thing. Myself bein' all about the World's Greatest Detective. But, hey!

Tee hee, radio shows. Pay no attention to that clock in the corner. Dude, Superman was AWESOME! Or TERRIBLE! One of those two.
Hi Liz! *wave!*

Aw, that was fun.

Andrew said...

Amazing how the science in this comic is so much better than so many other comics you've reviewed. Hell, it's downright eerie.

Seeing how Superman has changed over the years is really incredible, from this humble comic strip to the Man of Steel we know and love today. Hell, this was even the start of his Superdickery! What a milestone. This review was fun and I look forward to the rest of Secret Origins month.

Speaking of Superman, I picked up Superman: Earth One and loved it. I wouldn't mind hearing your thoughts on it if you've read it.

Erik Johnson said...

After the "Bleah" grayness of a month's worth of Silent Hill crap it feels good to be injected with campy pulp goodness.

Thanks for breaking your tradition of reviewing sucky comics to give us something so fun. Secret Origins month is going to ROCK!!!!

So the inhabitants of this "Distant Planet" are advanced millions of years? I'd hate to see what the retirement home is like.

"Through" is an odd word what with its many homophones like "Threw" and "Thru". I remember being at a Culliver's once and seeing a hastily made sign that said "Drive Through Window is Being Repaired".

Screech The Mighty said...

Oooh, Secret Origins month! This should be fun. It's actually sort of funny to think how much some things change. Thank God Superman can actually fly. I had this sudden mental image of Superman bouncing around the city like a jumping bean on a jackrabbit on a pogo stick. It is highly amusing, but not very dignified. ^^

Batman next week, pleez? :3

(Also, I gotta you often punch holes in space and drag random people out from the other side?!)

QuetzaDrake said...

So did anyone notice that between the cover and the inside shot, that guy underneath the car vanished? Linkara only shows it for a second, but look at the panel of the cover-shot again: no man cowering!

Where did he go?... or was he ever really there at all?? *dramatic grayscale push-in*

Jesse said...

I heard the original Superman was a bit too rough with people, but I had no idea he was this rough. Kinda funny in hindsight.

I had no idea that the legal battle started that way, or that it included Superman. I thought it was just Superboy and that's why we haven't seen him in a cartoon for so long. Thanks for the info.

Lastly, that was a funny version of "I AM A MAN!" Wish we could see more of Iron Liz.

Anonymous said...

An interesting episode I must say, showing how Superman was first depicted.

Speaking of Superman, what do you think of Superman: Earth One, that new graphic novel?

Paul S. said...

Great episode. Would love to see more reviews of Gold and Silver Age books.

Chris said...

What really gets me is, nobody in this comic seems all that surprised by a man in blue and red tights just randomly showing up and talking to them UNTIL he starts pulling off feats of, I mean, super-strength.

Raphel said...

I am actually not looking forward to Secret Origins much if only because I value the original issues of these heroes so much. Even though I obviously know its being done for comedic purposes.

nebosuke said...

Well, this was a very interesting and funny bit of comic history, Lewis. The history major in me looks forward to the rest of the month.

On a side note, any fellow Fate/Stay Night fans notice that the Tigress wears a shirt very similar to Taiga Fujimura:

Oh BTW, for those interested I reccomend watching a playthrough of the game's 3 scenarios (Fate, Unlimited Blade Works, and Heaven's Feel (in that order) over the anime since that's the superior version, and importing the game so as to apply both the translation patch and the voice patch will cost you close to $100. A guy named xerblade has the whole thing up on youtube and it's fully voiced (incidentally you might also want to check out Tsukihime as it ties into the Heaven's Feel true end and also since it's a great vampire story that makes for a good antidote to the poison of Twilight)

nebosuke said...

Speaking of Superman, is the new comic Superman: Earth One about Superboy Prime?

ShadowWing Tronix said...

One thing not mentioned: John and Martha Kent. Clark appears to have grown up in the orphanage. I'm more familiar with Superman #1, since I have that reprint, and there we see Clark get his job, and we learn how Superman got involved with the murder story this comic starts with.

I was so expecting you and Liz to just start making out. :)

JJ said...

Nice touch, with the nine minute clock showing up with nine minutes left on the video.

Anonymous said...

I may be a massive Star Wars fangirl, but the Superman theme is still my favorite John Williams composition of all time. I'm going to go play it on loop for the rest of the evening now.

As a biology major I should've been hitting my head against my desk during the whole "THE SCIENCE BEHIND SUPERMAN" bit, but a decade of being a science fiction fan will kind of numb you to stupid hand-waved explanations like that. That being said, I was just as flabbergasted as you when they actually correctly explained why he could run along the power lines without getting eletrocuted (though as to why his weight and Vincent Price's didn't just snap the wires is still up for debate).

Can't wait to see the next episode of Secret Origins month, as someone who never followed comic books all that closely, it's really interesting to see where it all began.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"Nice touch, with the nine minute clock showing up with nine minutes left on the video. "

I thought so. ^_^

pete wolf said...

I can't wait for the rest of SO month. I've read X-men #1 and Amazing Fantasy #15, And I know X-men #1 deserves it... (They hadn't quite gotten to the point they got to in the Claremont/Byrne era success)... I haven't seen Detective comics #27, but I'm sure that it's got its share...

Michael said...

When the senator said "The bill will be passed before its full implications are realized." I honestly expected you to make a joke about the some of the recent criticism of congress passing bills without either considering the implications or, in at least one case, passing them without reading them.

However, I realize that saying something like that is probably way too political for your show.

I think it would have been funny though.

Anonymous said...

Nice Iron Liz cameo, I enjoyed seeing her back on the show for a moment.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if my other comment went through, the server messed up.
If it did, just delete this one.

I enjoyed the review a lot.
The Golden Age was a different time indeed.
Superman and Batman both killed people.
Until 1942 or so. In which case they stopped killing people and just let them conveniently die and stand around and do nothing. :)

Superman even beat a mugger to death as Clark Kent. I think he was having a bad day.

Also, in the Golden age is when we first hear Lois complain about how Clark Kent is the only man who hasn't given her a tumble.
Which is a nicer way of saying Clark Kent is the only one she hasn't slept with.

Golden Age, it hurts your head.

Mountain King, you may be on to something.
Linkara is going to punch on the walls of Reality.
Which means we'll end up with several different origin stories for Donna Troy, Jason Todd no longer died...oh, wait....that already happened, my bad.

Maybe Linkara will end up as the Time Trapper?
Technically that would be a promotion, from Superboy Prime to one of the most God-Like villains ever to face off against Superman.
The Time Trapper has a lot of power over time and space.

He could even wipe Darkseid from the history books, but then the universe would explode or something from the complete destruction of balance between good and evil. Or something scientific.

DavidB1111 said...

I'm an idiot. That comment by D was supposed to have my name. My bad.

Anonymous said...

"Otherwise this was a fun little episode that touched on all the right elements, and I did learn something, I thought Superman's alien origins were concocted as part of the Silver Age. After reading the screen captures I guess it was the name "Krypton" that came about during the silver age."

Krypton was pure Golden Age. It first got its name in the newspaper strip of 1939, and became cemented by the radio show of 1940-1951, the 1943 George Lowther Superman novel, and the 1948 SUPERMAN serial starring Kirk Alyn. Kryptonian society was pretty firmly developed by the time the Alyn serial came along, and the Silver Age comics were an elaboration on what was already there.

Benjamin J said...

I love this idea. It's an opportunity to look at the origins of beloved heroes with both rose-colored nostalgia goggles, and face-kicking snark at the same time.

I think I'm looking most forward to Batman, though, due to the quagmire over his creation. I'm wondering how much detail you'll get into, given the sordid details of Bob Kane's (alleged, I guess) screwing over of Bill Finger, Jerry Robinson, and a studio full of ghost artists to whose work Kane signed his name, and the controversy surrounding just how much of those early Batman comics Kane actually had any creative input into whatsoever (from what I've read, not a hell of a whole lot in the art department, and virtually nothing in the writing department) when Detective Comics #27 rolls around.

I also concur with the emerging "Best 'I AM A MAN!' gag EVER" sentiment.

Trevor said...

Nice intro to "Secret Origins" Month! It was certainly a trip to see how the evolution of the character as he started became the character we know now. Although I feel like it would have been fun to explore the difference between the "Retconned" origins of Superman over the years, particularly "Man of Steel" in the 1980s, "Superman: BirthRight" by Mark Waid, and "Superman:Origins" by Geoff Johns. Still, the best part had to be where your "I AM A MAN!!!!!" punch pulled Iron Liz out of time and space!

Anonymous said...

awwww, I thought we'd get a "because poor literacy is kewl" line for "thru." Seriously, even the classic comics shouldn't get away with that!

Gyre said...

Amusing in general but at the time the politics of getting involved with Europe were just like that. In a perverse sense Pearl Harbor was the best thing that could have happened.

The Mad Scientist said...

BAHAHAHAHAHA! Best "I AM A MAN" yet! I love it!

This is going to be quite an interesting month, I can tell!

TimeTravelerJessica said...

Does this mean we get to see Batman's first appearance? Squee!

What can I say, I'm a shameless Bat fangirl.

Strannik said...

OK, for a book called “ACTION COMICS”, I can understand the Superman story, the two Westerns, the Zatara story, and MAYBE the boxing story…but why the HUMOR comic and the CRIME DRAMA

Because back then, every comic book had a humor strip and a crime drama. I am not even kidding. Mostly, it was because the people who put these comics together were trying to attract the biggest audience possible by appealing to as many people as possible. Any concerns about maintaining a common theme and whatnot were secondary.

H2O said...

You know I remember when Lewis was apprehensive about reviewing good comics because he didn't think he could make them funny and now here he is reviewing Superman #1. Maybe not the best comic ever but definitely one of the most beloved. You've come a long way baby.

neuroplay said...

Okay, like every other poster, "I am a a man" was hilarious, especially with it's origins in the show(full Circle) but one thing I am totally confused about... where do I get a disappearing cape? And furthermore, a coat with a bottomless pocket? I can already bend time and space, but I don't have unlimited storage capacity. Does Linksano have a Hotline? I'd even settle for Black Lantern Spoony.

Now I will never be able to believe that Supes is the Boyscout. With all that nonsense, clearly Aquaman is the most noble hero. No kidnappings or tearing up walls and getting involved in politics, right? Oh god, now I'm going to flare up the old "Aquaman is cool" "No he's obviously not" debate, but still, Superman is certainly no boyscout.

Anther thing, the humor comics of the Silver age were usually quite entertaining. The Disney staple of characters is a good example of the diversity of the age. I know, I know, Walt was a raging anti-semite and all that jazz. But he loved the kids, in a pure and innocent way (so far as we know) and some of those, while not Super Power related, really paved the way for the silver age to come to pass in a concrete way.

Off topic. Bottom Line, Superman is an ever changing brand that will evolve as long as kids have the desire to fly and see into the girl's locker room, but at its heart, Action Comics #1 is a playful Romp through the surreal. I imagine that the rest of the stories (save the Magician) follow a more realistic tone. And even the Phantom was not a "Super hero" per se. He was just some guy in a ridiculous costume. Without him, we may never have been able to gaze upon the wonder of imagination that the Golden age had to offer.

Thank you, old dead guys. We needed that.

And Linkara...Dude.



Ozaline said...

Loved the bouncing bit with the movie footage... but of course we owe superman's flight to the Max Fleischer cartoons specifically because the leaping over a tall building looked dumb on film.

Overlord of the North! said...

An orphanage?! They never showed that on Smallville.

Fun episode with lots of greatness. The butler and "Smell my hands." ruled it all.

I'm really looking forward to the Spider-man episode. These old-school origins really have lots of great material for comedy.

Hawkx1 said...

This isn't really a comment about the comic, which was great as usual and filled with campy goodness, but has the first part of the theme song with Linkara hitting a comic with a red power punch happen yet and if so which review?

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"This isn't really a comment about the comic, which was great as usual and filled with campy goodness, but has the first part of the theme song with Linkara hitting a comic with a red power punch happen yet and if so which review? "

That would be from the Dark Knight Strikes Again Part 3 review.

Dierna said...

Overlord of the North:

There WAS an orphanage in "Smallville" was a fake one created by Lionel so the Kent's could adopt Clark (cuz the Kent's had recused Lionel and Lex right after the meteor shower).

But in the golden age up till maybe the 80's the story was that Clark was found by the Kent's who took him to an orphanage and since nobody came by for him after a certain amount of time they let the Kent's keep him. It was a finders keepers thing. *lol*

Anonymous said...

This is probably the first "This brand new character is the most sensational of all time! Destined to reshape the world!" blurb I've ever read that ended up being accurate.

Jannet_Jazz said...

Woah! You do not hurt a lady, especially in Supes' presence!

That dirtbag got thrown into the wall so hard that (at least given the impact lines) he actually bent the entire wall around him!

You go, Superman!

Anonymous said...

Ozaline sayeth:

"Loved the bouncing bit with the movie footage... but of course we owe superman's flight to the Max Fleischer cartoons specifically because the leaping over a tall building looked dumb on film."

The only instance of Superman leaping on film is in the fourth episode of the Fleischer series, "The Arctic Giant," which is hilarious because its T-Rex bad guy looks ridiculous, the leaping scenes (recycled from their test footage for the series, I believe) does look stupid beyond belief, and it recycles the flying scenes from "The Mechanical Monsters" (Episode 2) and intercuts them with the leaping bits. I get that they didn't want the footage to go to waste, but it's still so silly and dopey that you have to laugh. And when you realize the previous three episodes had Superman flying in earnest, it's even funnier.

I love the Flesicher cartoons to death, but even they were prone to some really bizarre stuff.

RBYDark said...

You know, that gag might explain why the "I am a man" punch never works on robots - Supes' punch hurts robots, but yours RIPS THROUGH REALITY. Just a comment.

With that out of the way - this may be the closest I'll ever get to seeing the original comic, so thanks for that! Go Secret Origins month!

mightysamurai said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't that wife-beater die when Superman punched him into a wall?

Why no comment on that?

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't that wife-beater die when Superman punched him into a wall?

Why no comment on that?"

Because he didn't die - the fight continued for about 2 or 3 more panels before the guy fainted since nothing could hurt Superman.

Orion_II said...

Amusing enough about the whole telephone wire thing: the physics behind him not getting shocked are good; superman can get off the wires without touching anything, and thus, getting shocked.

HOWEVER! There's still the little problem of having a full grown man landing on them at high speeds. The sudden application of that much force would either snap the wires or cause the telephone poles to come down.

This is doubly so considering it's the 1930s, and in those days, a strong storm could knock down the telephone wires for miles!

TimeTravelerJessica said...

Okay, now that I am done squeeing over Batman.

I'm a fairly new viewer to your show and to comics in general, but I'm already a huge fan of yours. I have to commend you for doing your homework - the history behind Superman's creation was really interesting and added to the overall video. It's clear on every review that you love comics and your enthusiasm is infectious. You're wicked funny and I'm very impressed by the range of voices you can do.

Pmax said...

It's fun to see this origin of Superman in contrast to the new Earth One Superman that just came out. Earth One which is pretty nifty though. Mention of "the Daily Star" also gave me flashbacks of Crisis on Infinite Earths.

The evolution of comic book characters, especially the long-lived ones like Superman, is always fun to look in to.

"Smell my hand, smell it!" Best line I've heard all day!

Great review, Lewis!

KaosMachina said...

This review basically proves what I've believed since your Blue Beetle review. You are at your funniest when you're reviewing an actually GOOD comic. You ought to do so more often.
Looking forward to Secret Origins month and the next HOPR, man.

SynjoDeonecros said...

I really didn't want to comment on this, but I feel I've gotta: what's the deal with the slams on Yu-Gi-Oh? I know you're a fan of the Abridged series, and I will admit that the whole "card games on motorbikes" thing that 5D's is doing is moronic (seriously, how can ANY DMV allow that, but not driving while on the cell phone?), but the game and the anime, for the most part, aren't that bad, especially the game; you'd be surprised at how deep and strategic some of the duels can be.

Aside from that, it's a good review, though I shudder to think what your reaction will be to Batman using a gun in the golden age, when you get to his origin review. I also like how subdued Superman's powers seem to be, back in the day, compared to now; leaping instead of flying is definitely a step down (no pun intended), and "nothing short of an explosion" can harm him? Kinda puts that whole "bullet bounces off Superman's EYE" scene in Superman Returns in a disturbing new light, huh?

Lewis Lovhaug said...

Hey, I'm not slamming on Yu-Gi-Oh! I love Yu-Gi-Oh and I've got a deck for the game! It was more just a joke on him saying he had to cover card games. I could've easily put Magic the Gathering in there, instead. XD

SynjoDeonecros said...

Wow. Live and learn, then. What kind of deck is it, btw?

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"Wow. Live and learn, then. What kind of deck is it, btw?"

Been a while since I played, but IIRC it's a dragon and warrior deck, with most of the dragon action focused around Blue Eyes.

SynjoDeonecros said...

Nice. My mate has a Gladiator Beast deck, and I have a couple decks I'm building, though my main one is a tiger-themed beast weenie rush. Maybe if I see you at a convention, or catch you on YVD or something, we could get a game going.

Back on the subject of Superman, there's one thing that never made sense to me, and incidentally I didn't start questioning it until I started lining out the problems with Power Rangers SPD: the whole "last son of Krypton" thing.

Let me explain: any sentient being has the predilection to expand and explore, making eradicating them difficult due to how far they can spread out; even on a confined ecosystem like Earth, it's near-impossible to make sure by artificial means that you wiped out every single member of a species, especially in one fell swoop. With species that are able to achieve space travel, such as the Sirians in SPD or the Kryptonians, it IS impossible, because of the possibility of off-world colonies. So, a disaster that takes out their home planet wouldn't necessarily guarantee their extinction. So, why is it so damn important to keep Kal-El the last son of Krypton? What they did in the Diniverse made more sense, with Supergirl coming from a colony world ravaged by but spared from the destruction of Krypton. I dunno, I just started questioning that ever since *MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THE END OF SPD!* the reveal at the end of SPD that Doggie's wife was alive as a Troobian slave, and no one else from Sirius.

Mr. Blank said...

Who's this "Superman" guy? I wanted to see the secret origin of Chuck Dawson!

shikome kido mi said...


Actually, the Physics of Superheroes points out that after the origin of his powers was switched to sunlight and he gained a great deal more of them in the Silver Age his abilities are basically fantasy.

It also mentions that his golden age powers could stem from coming from a high gravity world and explains how a high gravity world that also has the conditions to produce earth-like life would probably be very unstable and eventually rip itself apart.

Golden age science wins again!

PockyMech said...

Superman (Breaks through a wall shouting): "OH YEAH"!!!

*Happy Sigh* I never get tired of the "I am a MAN!" jokes, they guarantee a smile. Like the editing for the intro, feels heroic enough. The historical references were great.

Hmmm, Superman leaps instead of flys? ...Nah! That’s more like Freakazoid's #, that’s just too silly for Supes.

Sijo said...

Very good job, Linkara. This was fun AND it let me read Action #1 without having to pay a bajillion dollars for it. :P

It's obvious that the story was written as a power fantasy- you know like when you're mad at something and you just wish you could solve it with force. Besides kids back then probably didn't care about due process or politics any more than they do today. (And yes I know today comics are bought mostly by adults.)

Oh and the "strength of insects" deal is likely taken from the novel Gladiator, which came out before Superman and also had a superstrong human trying to adapt to normal life, including doing good deeds, but that had a more tragic ending. Or at least that is the theory but I don't think it has ever been proven that Siegel & Shuster were influenced by the novel.

(Ironically that character was introduced to the DC Universe proper in All Star Squadron.)

rdfox said...

As a side note, there's a reason that so many Golden Age books had ongoing prose stories in them--it was to meet US Postal regulations to allow the publishers to mail them at the lower "magazine" rate, saving themselves a *lot* on postage. If memory serves, that regulation wasn't changed until well into the Silver Age...

Truce Weston said...

Now I feel bad missing the last few videos of yours

the "smell my hand" bit was the funniest thing I have heard in a long time!

great video, and learned some stuff about superman, that I didn't know.

so until the technology of the vanishing cape is revealed, MAKE MINE LINKARA!!

MFlorian said...

I'm really surprised you made no mention of Clark Kent changing into Superman directly front of the wife-beating husband he's about to pummel.

FugueforFrog said...

Yeah, it is peculiar to see the original Superman comic with wife-beaters and weird governors and Vincent Price...and orphanages and such. But hey, it's Superman and...well, at least they modified him a lot in the first 70 years...or not.

BTW: wonder if the Golden Age was as insane as the Silver...or Bronze...or Liefeld?

ConsoleCleric said...


Superman was created by two guys:
Jerome Siegel and Joseph Shuster. Joe was the Canadian born artist and Jerome was the writer.

After Joe drew the first picture of Superman, he thought the idea looked ridiculous. Who wouldn't? A guy wearing underwear on the outside? Joe chucked the picture into the fire.

Jerome quickly saved it, because he thought the depression needed something "uplifting."

At first, Superman couldn't fly. He had to jump from place to place. However, when Max and Dave Fleischer were animating the early Superman cartoons, they found the jumping animation was very time consuming and difficult to draw. Therefore, they got permission to draw a flying animation for Superman, which was far less time consuming.

Initially, Superman was VERY VIOLENT. He nearly killed a man after stopping him from robbing a bank. The printing company (newspaper at the time) requested to have Superman "toned down a little." If you think Superman was violent in his first ACTION COMIC, you should have seen him before! Wow!

Great video Lewis. I hope you get this message, in case you already knew this stuff.

Night said...

I have to admit, that crack about money being better during the Depression amused me no end.

Of course, don't you-Oh god, not Bearded Idiot! Anyone but him.

You know, the other thing is Superman looks awful in his red boxers. I guess briefs hadn't been invented yet.

The governor has a panic room, approximately fifty years before the concept! Actually I suspect that's not terribly inaccurate. This is the time period where anarchism existed as a meaningful political force and political figures faced realistic risk of assassination even within the US. A steel bedroom door would be the sort of thing people considered "security" back then.

"And yes we know it was an unwilling woman, otherwise why would she be tied up and gagged? DON'T ANSWER THAT." Smart man. You know we internetters would be all over that.

Actually the thing that gets me is that I'm not sure domestic violence was a crime. It was considered morally reprehensible, if judged "excessive" (morality belonging to finite points in history yaaay), but I'm not sure it was actually criminal.

The bouncing Movie Superman bit was amusing enough to make me laugh. I don't know why, I wouldn't have thought so normally. Perhaps it was Lois looking enchanted.

Well, to be fair, I'm not sure it was possible to take a train to South America. The Panama Canal for one thing.

I'll grant the "I had to see you" was a slow ball, but you didn't even swing at it. :(

It does amuse me to read this, too, since very few people in congress actually wanted to oppose Hitler; it was almost all FDR's doing. Pro-German sentiments weren't totally uncommon either since, well, the midwest had a lot of German immigrants who'd turned out to be decent, hardworking, god-fearing folks. (And Protestant, unlike those filthy Irish who showed up around the Civil War.)

Anonymous said...

"AH'M A MAN!" *PUNCH* "Ha ha ha! That never gets old! Good ol' Linkara! Always with the punching and retrieving a random ob...


Did he... did he just treat Iron Liz as an object? O_o;

Lewis Lovhaug said...

""AH'M A MAN!" *PUNCH* "Ha ha ha! That never gets old! Good ol' Linkara! Always with the punching and retrieving a random ob...


Did he... did he just treat Iron Liz as an object? O_o; "

Nah, I just managed to rip open the fabric of space and time and pulled her from wherever she was.

Anonymous said...

The Phantom never appeared in the pulps, but in comic strips.

Anonymous said...

So he could run faster than an express train and survive anything short of an exploding shell...technically, that makes him "faster than a locomotive, more powerful than a speeding bullet". Anyone else think that's a bit backwards?