153 – Luthor, Male-Pattern Villainy

In Superman #10 (March 1941), Luthor appears bald for the first time in a comic book, joining a whole host of other evil bald geniuses who stalk comic book universes: Ultra-Humanite, Hugo Strange, Doctor Sivana. I talked about the history of Luthor’s baldness here.

Read More »

142 – The Justice Society of America

The Justice Society of America debuts in All-Star Comics #3 (November 1940). In its first incarnation it consists of a whopping nine characters across Detective Comics Inc and All-American Comics (still separate companies at this point): The Flash, the Atom, Green Lantern, Hawkman, the Spectre, Doctor Fate, Sandman and Hourman, with Johnny Thunder thrown in […]

Read More »

141 – A Little Privacy, Please

Lois Lane catches Superman changing into Clark Kent for the first time in Action Comics #32 (November 1940). Fortunately for Superman, Lois is under the influence of a fluid that makes her forget everything. Clark learns she will spend her days in a sanitarium so he tries super-hypnotism for the first time, which of course […]

Read More »

133 – Perry White

Superman #7 (September 1940), introduced a new Daily Planet editor, Perry White, replacing the previous editor (George Taylor). The character of Perry White was actually introduced in February 1940 when the Adventures of Superman radio show began. It’s interesting to see how the various media incarnations of Superman (comic book, newspaper strip, radio show, cartoons) […]

Read More »

126 – Up, Up, and a Glide

By Superman #6 (July 1940), Superman is nearly flying. I say nearly because other stories in this issue use the term “gliding” and show him using his cape to halt his descent. By now, the DC universe has at least two characters that can fly: Hawkman and Green Lantern. It feels like Superman should join […]

Read More »

122 – Johnny Thunder, More Clueless than a Locomotive

Still called Johnny Thunderbolt as of June 1940, it is revealed in Flash Comics #8 that Johnny Thunder probably lives in the same universe as Superman (or at least in a universe that knows of Superman’s exploits). It’s somewhat interesting though that Johnny Thunder, Flash, Hawkman and Green Lantern are all published by All-American Publications, […]

Read More »

119 – Acidproof

Superman #5 (May 1940) has our hero soliloquizing about his acid-proof costume that he invented himself, making him a scientific genius as well as a god-on-Earth, I guess. This will be retconned years later to be threads from his baby blanket from Krypton 🙂

Read More »

113 – S is for Symbol

Up until now, Superman‘s insignia has usually drawn as an inverted yellow-bordered triangle surrounding an ‘S’ of first yellow, then red. Action Comics #25 (April 1940) shows the final major iteration of this symbol to a red-bordered diamond shape that is now recognized the world over. Note that the Wikipedia article on this states that […]

Read More »

111 – Beetleproof

In Mystery Men Comics #10 (March 1940), the Blue Beetle reveals that his costume is actually bullet-proof. Maybe Dr. Franz, the drug store owner / sidekick who helps Dan Garret, made this happen? Or maybe Fox wanted to make their hero as exciting as Superman?

Read More »

106 – Luthor!

February 1940 also brought another major character to the DC Universe with the introduction of Luthor, probably Superman‘s greatest villain. First appearing in Action Comics #23 (February 1940), Luthor was a mad scientist bent on world domination that used hypnotism to keep his lackeys in check. Later on in the month he also appeared in […]

Read More »