crazyscarecrow's Action Comics #1 - Superman, Champion of the Oppressed... review

A Superman than Doesn't Give a Crap

Action Comics #1. The comic book that started it all. That started to move the comic book world from recycled comic strips and new comic strips to a world of superheroes. It is the first appearance of Superman, Lois Lane, and quite possibly Perry White. Superman and Lois Lane though especially. This book is the start of a brand new DC Universe in a way and signaled the beginning of Golden Age of Comics. So how did this book go? Great!

Seeing that I am reading this through The Superman Chronicles series Superman will be the only story reviewed. Sorry Zatara and Tex Thompson fans.

Anyhoo the story is great! We start off learning the origin of Superman followed by a small panel describing Superman's strength. After this we go right into the action (after all this is called Action Comics) as we see Superman in the middle of a case (which we get to see how it began in Superman #1 published the next year). We see Superman rushing to the governor's home, being rejected by his butler, and punching his way through all to stop a death sentence. After this we see him in his Clark Kent identity going to work where his unnamed editor (Perry White?) gives him a Superman assignment and Clark gets a date with Lois Lane. Later on, at the date we witness the first time Lois is a damsel in distress only to see no other than Clark changing into Superman to save her. Instead of the comic ending, Superman goes on yet another adventure to stop and humiliate corrupt government figures only to end on a cliffhanger.

After reading this all I have to say is WOW! This is way better than the first appearance of Batman. All I can think is no wonder Superman was such a success and no wonder after this story we got many more heroes to follow in comics. In this story here is a man who is super powerful and does not watch his power. He is seen beating up regular people. Not super powerful threats to the universe like Darkseid or Brainaic. Not a rich man in a robot suit (Lex Luthor), but actual criminals. In this comic, Superman seems to be more of a street leveled hero than Batman. The writing was great showing some of Siegel's personal reactions to serious crimes with the art by Joe Shuster adding greatness to it. I can say I enjoyed this comic debut much more than the one of Batman. With Batman we see him just going onto a case. With this one it seemed like we plunged right into the world of Superman and it feels like Siegel and Shuster are more comfortable than Finger or Kane . Also maybe it also because there are more recognizable faces and themes in this. We get Superman, Lois, and I am guessing Perry. With Batman's we just got Batman and Commissioner Gordon. This comic had no flaws as I believe no comic debut (especially those of that are this famous and influential) is flawed as there is no wrong as the creators are just beginning and seeing how comfortable they are with the character just adds to it. Now all I can wonder is how Captain Marvel's debut comics surpassed those of the Superman comics.

Thanks for reading and have a great day-


3 Comments Refresh
Edited by lykopis

Great fresh take on the first Superman book -- makes me curious enough to go take a gander myself.

Edited by etragedy

Good review. Somehow my reviews for the first five issues of Action Comics got lost in the site migration, but I pretty much agreed with most of what you said.

By the way, it is not Perry White, but Clark's first editor, George Taylor, back when he was at the Daily Star in Cleveland, Ohio.

Posted by CrazyScarecrow

@etragedy: Thanks! :D I totally thought Clark calling him chief meant he was Perry.

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