Action Comics #1: An Overview

Action Comics#1 that released in June 1938 introduced the world to many a firsts: an iconic superhero, an overwhelming underdog, a metahuman and a purveyor of justice.  Yes we are introduced to Superman- a character that epitomizes the world of comics.

Action Comics#1 written by Jerome Siegel and Joe Shuster introduces us to an orphan who is sent to earth by his scientist father when their planet is destroyed of old age.  We all know the planet today is Krypton. This piece of information wasn’t introduced in the first edition of the comic. The comic does not delve into Superman’s family relations rather focuses on his superpowers. After reaching maturity Superman can easily run faster than an express train, lift heavy weights and leap long distances. 

The story also comes with a scientific explanation of Clark Kent’s incredible strength. He came from a planet whose inhabitants had physical structure millions of years advanced of our own.  His strengths are therefore channeled into the service of mankind and Superman: Champion of the oppressed. The Physical Marvel who had sworn to devote his existence to helping those who need!

The first comic is divided into three short stories and one major story that continues into the second issue too. The first story is that of a certain Evelyn Curry who is to be wrongly electrocuted in the next 15 minutes for murder. Superman does all that he can and reaches the Governor’s residence to show him a signed confession of her innocence and asks for the electrocution to be stopped right away.

We are also introduced to the Daily Star newspaper where Clark Kent works as a reporter.  No prizes for guessing that he is the one who covers all of Superman’s stories.

The second story, a rather insignificant one is that of a wife beater in which Superman’s powers is once again reiterated.

The third one is about Lois getting kidnapped at a party which she attends with her Daily Planet colleague Cark Kent. This story only focuses on Clark Kent’s rather cowardly demeanor in front of his love interest Lois.  But when kidnapped at the party and unable to do anything Clark turns to his alter ego Superman.  The most significant part of this story and also which makes this story historic is because one of the scenes in this story was the cover photo of the comic.

Yellow Journalism was at its peak in the 1930s with propaganda floating in the air. It reflects in the comic too when the editor of Daily Planet wants to stir up news; thus the assignment which sends Clark Kent to San Monte.  After attending the session of Congress Clark overhears the Senator speaking to a lobbyist who asks him to meet at the Senator’s residence to further discuss the matter.  To unearth more about this incidence Superman eavesdrops at the Senator’s place that night. After threatening the Senator, Greer is confronted by Superman who further unearths the case.

With that comes to close one of the iconic adventures of a man we know today as ‘The Man of Steel’- Superman.


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