Friday, March 4, 2011

...And Once They Started Talking, They Never Shut Up Friday!

Pop quiz time!

What is historical about this cover?

It's easier than you think.

Give up?

It's the first Superman comic with dialog on the cover.

Yep, this seems to be one of the earlier examples of comic covers getting all chatty.  Some folks like to have words on there, some (like me) don't.  But regardless, it was four years in publication before Action comics started speaking up.

Let's flash back one issue earlier to the Zatarra the Magician story:

I've mentioned before that I have mixed feelings when the real world comes into comics.  You are either stuck doing an illustrated documentary of the subject matter, or you end up looking delusional.  This story was published around three years before Germany would surrender, but if you got your news from comics (as small children are want to do), the war was over in 1942.  Yes, I realize it isn't journalism and I'm sure it was meant to be a morale-booster, but there's something about saying a problem is solved when it really isn't that (IMHO) does a disservice.

I'm probably over-thinking it, aren't I?

I can fix that.

You know what Superman doesn't have time for?

Jitter-bugging with large snakes.:

See?  What did I just say?

I'll see you Monday!


Unknown said...

Isn't Action Comics the first time Lex was on a cover too? Also, he reminds me of "Yellow Kid" there.

You can totally see the snakes reflection in the glass between it and Superman.

Fred W. Hill said...

So Luthor is the Yellow Kid all grown up and nasty?
Oh, and I agree about keeping comic heroes mostly, if not entirely, out of real world calamities. How could the creators of DC comics explain why Superman didn't just fly to Berlin, grab Hitler, and haul him off to be tried before some sort of international court to be tried for his crimes? The only realistic thing to do was for Superman to admit, "hey, I'm just a figure of fantasy -- I can't do anything real." Of course, most kids already know that, except for the exceptionally dense ones, who tend to remain dumb even after attaining adulthood. Alas for us, some of them even become successful politicians!