Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Superman and the Phallic Shaped Baby-Carrying Rocket from Another Planet

So, whilst I try to figure out our next big-name focus of CMNS, let's take a look at Superman's solo title.  The first story was reprinted from Action Comics #1, but the origin changed a bit:

As we saw in Action Comics #1, we were a bit hazy on who raised infant Clark.  But now, it turns out the Kents went right back to the orphanage where they had dumped him in the first place and decided they wanted to go all takesies-backsies.  I can't swear to it, but considering the first issue of the Superman solo book came out a year after the first issue of Action, I think we have one of the earliest and quickest examples of ret-conning an origin. 

It was an improvement to have the Kents raise Clark, and it certainly added some depth to the character.  

But he still wasn't quite invulnerable:

That scene always struck me as stupid.  Are you trying to keep your powers a secret or not?  Don't encourage the doctor to break more needles on your skin!

Anyway, I never really knew why Clark decided to be a reporter: 

That also makes a certain amount of sense.  It's not like they had police scanners back then.  And they didn't.  I looked it up.

Still no flying:

And this created logistical problems for Supes that we wouldn't see for long:

I guess at one point someone just said, "Can we just have the guy fly and be done with it?"

We'll take more of a looksee tomorrow, hepcats!  See you then!


Wayne Allen Sallee said...

I wonder when they started saying the sun was like a solar battery? In those early issues, he could jump because of the lighter gravity on Earth. I would have loved to see an issue where Superman finally tried flying instead of jumping and kept flying past where he needed to be or not knowing how to touch down.

Adam Barnett said...

Yeah, as I put in a future post, they tried to use gravity to explain the superhuman strength in a similar fashion. They didn't even bother trying to explain invulnerability, heat vision, etc. I'm going to keep an eye out for the first time I see him flying. :-)

Green Luthor said...

"I guess at one point someone just said, 'Can we just have the guy fly and be done with it?'"

Sort of? When Fleischer Studios was making the old animated Superman shorts, they realized that showing him jump around everywhere would look kind of stupid, so they asked if they could just make him fly, instead. DC/National/whatever agreed, and the flying would then be added into the comics.

wordsmith said...

The first time that Supes' powers were explained as sourced from ol' Sol was in a Supergirl back-up story in Action Comics #262, March of '60, according to the online "Superman Encyclopedia" at

Adam Barnett said...

Cool info, guys!