Action Comics

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Action Comics is an American comic book series which introduced Superman, the first major superhero character as the term is popularly defined. The publisher was originally known as Detective Comics, Inc., and later as National Comics and as National Periodical Publications, before taking on its current name of DC Comics, a subsidiary of Time Warner.


Publication history


Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster saw their creation, Superman, aka Kal-El (originally Kal-L), launched in Action Comics #1 in April 1938 (cover-dated June). Siegel and Shuster had tried for years to find a publisher for their Superman character (originally conceived as a newspaper strip) without success. Superman was originally a bald madman created by Siegel and Shuster who used his telepathic abilities to wreak havoc on mankind. He appeared in Siegel and Shuster's book Science Fiction.[1] Siegel then commented, "What if this Superman was a force for good instead of evil?" The writer and artist had worked on several features for National Periodical Publications' other titles (Slam Bradley in Detective Comics, for example[2]) and were asked to contribute a feature for National's newest publication. They submitted Superman for consideration, and after re-pasting the sample newspaper strips they had prepared into comic book page format, National decided to make Superman the cover feature of their new magazine.[3]


To quote from the second chapter of The Annihilist, a December 1934 Doc Savage story: "He returned, grumbling disgustedly, to stare at his picture, which was a partially completed study of a Herculean male figure supporting a certain well-known automobile. It was an advertising poster." Did this influence the cover of Action #1 nearly four years later? Lola Lane, an actress of the mid-30's bore more than a passing resemblance to the later "Lois Lane".

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