etragedy's Action Comics #8 - Superman in the Slums review

The Kind of Superman Story You'd Only Get in the Golden Age

This issue of Action Comics features the first cover by Fred Guardineer - one of the best cove artists of the Golden Age.

Given the poor quality of all the non-Superman material last issue, I opted to read only the Superman story in this issue. 'Gimpy the Fence' as it's come to be known (originally it was untitled), is the kind of Superman story that could only come from the Golden Age. We'd never see one like this today. For one thing Superman is extremely violent - he smashes Gimpy in the face, throws him upside down against a wall, and drops him head first into a barrel of tar. Aside from that, his solution to juvenile delinquency is to have everyone evacuate the slums, and then lead the National Guard on a chase through them, leveling the buildings to their foundations so that the government will replace them with huge apartment complexes.

Aside from those very dated notions, it's a rather good Golden Age Superman story. The art is decent. And, we get to see Superman outrun a bullet for the first time. Superman is also still seen as an outlaw by the police at this stage. Nor is it plagued by any of the extraordinary coincidences or ridiculous added-off-the-cuff superpowers that sometimes ruined otherwise good stories in the early days of Superman.

Check it out if you want to see Superman in his raw early days when he stood for right, but was anything but politically correct.


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