Thursday, August 5, 2010

DC75: Knock This Steel Door Down! (Action Comics #1, 1938)

Maybe it's because one of my first comics was the oversized tabloid Famous First Edition of Superman #1, but I have very fond memories of the Man of Steel's earliest adventures. We all remember the rocket ship and the strange early powers, but what about his social crusading? How his first recorded adventure involved the rescue of an innocent woman from execution by storming the governor's bedroom? Tossing a wife beater across a room? Manhandling a corrupt lobbyist (as if there's any other kind?)

From jump, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster were trying to impress with Superman's feats of strength, from lifting a chair as a baby to a steel girder as an adult. In his first story, Superman burst through a wooden door and picked up a grown man with one hand. If any one feat left its impression on the collective consciousness though, it would seem to be Superman's ripping a steel door out of a wall and mangling it like paper mache. The sight has been recreated countless times in comic, television, and even described on radio. It's one of the defining feats of the superhero, and while greater still were to come, this standby remains.

Check out more highlights from the past 75 years of DC Comics at The Truly Most Memorable Moments of the DC Dodranscentennial

1 comment:

Aaron said...

Coolness! I also got that Famous First Edition, Christmas 1978 it was I believe. I do kinda like that early Superman was pretty mad at evildoers. Since comic superheroes have been around forever, it can be difficult to appreciate how amazed readers would have been at the time just seeing drawings of these incredible feats.