307 – Superman’s Pupils

Superman earliest comic book appearances always portrayed him as a dashing, heroic figure. Joe Shuster drew the character as always in command and never surprised. As a result, he eyes were always shadowed or squinting. Did Superman even have white eyeballs? Around the time of Superman #40 (March 1946) I started noticing more illustrations of […]

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83 – Federal Men Get Boring

In Adventure Comics #42 (August 1939), Wayne Boring gets credit alongside Jerome Siegel for “Federal Men”. It sounds like Boring had been “ghosting” already for Joe Shuster, so I’m not sure why he was suddenly openly credited here.

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50 – The Arrow!

Centaur Publications included a new strip in Funny Pages #21 (vol. 2 #10) July 1938 called The Arrow (no, not the TV show and nothing to do with DC’s Green Arrow, still three years away). The Arrow was a superhero that relied on archery as a gimmick and had a costume and a secret identity. […]

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47 – When Lois Met Clark

The Golden Age of Comic Books begins in May 1938 with the single most important comic book ever published:  Action Comics #1 and the debut of the first full-fledged superhero:  Superman.  Crime fighter for justice.  Crazy costume.  Super powers.  Secret identity.  A supporting cast of two Daily Star employees: his un-named editor and his romantic […]

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40 – Sally Saves Bart

Sally Norris is mostly definitely not a damsel-in-distress and is continuing to prove her worth as Bart Regan’s partner / sidekick in “Spy”, by Detective Comics #9 (October 1937).  She bails out her boyfriend with tear gas from her purse (!) and rescues everyone.

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35 – Superheroes Never Stay Dead

Superheroes die all the time these days and are resurrected in various forms months or years later, so it’s kind of meaningless.  However, back in May 1937 it wasn’t so common, so I’m sure this cliffhanger where Doctor Occult is declared dead was upsetting to fans of Leger and Reuths’ “More Fun” strip.

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33 – The Spy’s Just Not That Into You

By 1937, Siegel & Shuster had five comic strips going in National Allied Publications / DC Comics.  “Spy” debuted in Detective Comics #1, but the dynamic between Bart Regan (newly minted spy for Uncle Sam) and his ex-fiance Sally Norris started taking shape in the second issue, March 1937.  Sally became Bart’s reluctant sidekick / […]

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32 – Slam Bradley!

In February 1937, Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, the owner of National Allied Publications, put out its third comic book title, Detective Comics.  The book was published by “Detective Comics Inc” due to a partnership Wheeler-Nicholson entered into to get out of some debt. Detective Comics was notable for having much longer stories than was normal for the […]

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31 – Dope Fiend!

The Federal Men start the new year (January 1937) by taking a bite out of drugs, or something like that.  Steve Carson takes on a “dope” ring and is captured and threatened with becoming an addict.  Of course he escapes and arrests the ring leader. New Adventure Comics #13 also features a 12-page story “Foe […]

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30 – New Adventures for Federal Men

The science fiction angle continues for Siegel and Shuster in this Federal Men tale from December 1936.  In it, this four page “imaginary tale” from the futuristic year 2000 shows federal agent Jor-L fighting bandit queen Nira-Q.  The name Jor-L was of course re-used for Superman’s father on Krypton. This issue also shows the title […]

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