(Summer 1939)

DC, 1939 Series
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Price:
0.10 USD
Pages:
68
Indicia frequency:
?
On-sale date:
1939-05-18
Indicia / Colophon Publisher:
Detective Comics, Inc.
Editing:
Vin Sullivan; M.C. Gaines (uncredited, see note)
Color:
color
Dimensions:
standard Golden Age US; then standard Silver Age US; then standard Modern Age US
Paper Stock:
newsprint
Binding:
saddle-stitched (squarebound #183, 187, 193, 197, 202, 207, 212, 217, 222, 227, 245, 252, 272, 278, 284)
Publishing Format:
was ongoing series

Issue Notes

According to Superman: The Complete History, M.C. Gaines told Siegel and Shuster what additional content (aside from the Action reprints) to create for this issue in a letter dated 1939-03-27.

The Audit Bureau of Circulation files reveal that there were three printings of this issue in 1939 (500,000 copies, 250,000 copies, and 150,000 copies) (researched by Russ Maheras). The only difference noted is in the house ad for Action Comics #14, which has either an on sale date of "June 2nd" or just "Now on Sale" (researched by David Bachman).

There is no number on this issue.


[no title indexed] (Table of Contents)

Superman / cover / 1 page (report information)

Pencils:
Leo O'Mealia
Inks:
Leo O'Mealia
Colors:
?
Letters:
?

Genre:
superhero
Characters:
Superman [Clark Kent]
Reprints:

Indexer Notes

Artist revision revised from Joe Shuster to O'Mealia by Craig Delich 2013-4-24. Leo O'Mealia drew the cover of Superman #1 based on a Shuster panel in Action #10.

[Johnson Smith & Co.] (Table of Contents)

advertisement / 1 page (report information)

Pencils:
?
Inks:
?
Letters:
?

Reprints:

Indexer Notes

inside front cover.

[Two page origin of Superman] (Table of Contents)

Superman / comic story / 2 pages (report information)

Script:
Jerry Siegel [as Jerome Siegel] (signed)
Pencils:
Joe Shuster (signed)
Inks:
Joe Shuster (signed)
Colors:
?
Letters:
Joe Shuster

Genre:
superhero
Characters:
Superman [Clark Kent]; Ma (Mary) Kent (introduction, death); Pa Kent (introduction, death)
Synopsis:
A rocketship, carrying an infant, rockets from the planet Krypton as it blows up, and lands on the Earth where a couple named the Kents find the baby inside the rocket and eventually adopt him. This infant boy grows up to be Superman.
Reprints:
Keywords:
Krypton

Indexer Notes

First version that mentions Krypton and foster parents. First line: "Just before the doomed planet, Krypton, exploded to fragments, a scientist placed his infant son within an experimental rocket-ship, launching it toward Earth!"

[Clark Kent Gets a Job] (Table of Contents)

Superman / comic story / 4 pages (report information)

Script:
Jerry Siegel
Pencils:
Joe Shuster
Inks:
Joe Shuster
Colors:
?
Letters:
Joe Shuster

Genre:
superhero
Characters:
Superman [Clark Kent]; George Taylor (introduction, un-named); Sims; Evelyn Curry; Bea Carroll (villain)
Synopsis:
Clark Kent applies for a job at the Daily Star, but is turned down until Superman stops a lynching and Clark phones in the story. Then Superman gets singer Bea Carroll to confess to the murder of Jack Kennedy.
Reprints:
Keywords:
Daily Star

Indexer Notes

New material, newly drawn for this issue. Superman wears red boots. Story has no masthead or by-line. Story continues in next sequence. First line: "Outer waiting-room of the Daily Star..."

[The Coming of Superman] (Table of Contents)

Superman / comic story / 11.67 pages (report information)

Script:
Jerry Siegel
Pencils:
Joe Shuster
Inks:
Joe Shuster
Colors:
?
Letters:
Joe Shuster

Genre:
superhero
Characters:
Superman [Clark Kent]; George Taylor (introduction, un-named); Lois Lane (introduction); Evelyn Curry; un-named Governor; Governor's un-named servant; Bea Carroll (villain); Butch Matson (villain); Senator Barrows (villain); Alex Greer (villain)
Synopsis:
Superman breaks into the Governor's mansion to stop the execution of Evelyn Curry, and Lois is kidnapped by gangsters, no thanks to that spineless milksop, Clark Kent, but is rescued by Superman! In his next assignment, Superman tackles a corrupt Senator in Washington.
Reprints:
Keywords:
Daily Star

Indexer Notes

Continued in next story. Clark Kent is hired as a reporter for the Daily Star newspaper in this sequence. Superman wears blue boots in this reprinted story. A scene from the cover of Action #1 appears in panel 67. First line: "A tireless figure races thru the night."

["And so begins the startling adventures..."] (Table of Contents)

Superman / promo (ad from the publisher) / 0.33 page (report information)

Script:
?
Pencils:
Joe Shuster
Inks:
Joe Shuster
Colors:
?
Letters:
?

Genre:
superhero
Reprints:

Indexer Notes

Illustrated promotional ad for the Superman strip appearing in Action Comics.

[Revolution In San Monte] (Table of Contents)

Superman / comic story / 12.67 pages (report information)

Script:
Jerry Siegel [as Jerome Siegel] (signed)
Pencils:
Joe Shuster (signed)
Inks:
Joe Shuster (signed)
Colors:
?
Letters:
Joe Shuster

Genre:
superhero
Characters:
Superman [Clark Kent]; Lois Lane; Lola Cortez; George Taylor (cameo); Alex Greer (villain); Emil Norvell (villain)
Synopsis:
Clark Kent and Lois Lane board the steamship Baronta, bound for San Monte in South America to cover the war brewing. He and Norvell join the San Monte Army so that the Man of Tomorrow can prove the war is being fomented by munitions manufacturers.
Reprints:
Keywords:
Evening News

Indexer Notes

Clark apparently works for the (Cleveland, Ohio) Evening News, as he sends pictures there, although panel 15 of the story has Lois stating "our editor decided to have me accompany you to the warzone...", and Lois works for the Daily Star. Since Siegel and Shuster both came from Cleveland, it's possible Siegel put this in as a plug for their hometown newspaper! Superman wears blue boots. First line: "As they topple like a plummet to the street below, eighty stories distant, Greer shrieks insanely the entire length of the building!"

["Attention all American youth!"] (Table of Contents)

Superman / promo (ad from the publisher) / 0.33 page (report information)

Pencils:
?
Inks:
?
Colors:
?
Letters:
typeset

Genre:
superhero
Reprints:

Scientific Explanation of Superman's Amazing Strength--! (Table of Contents)

Superman / comic story / 1 page (report information)

Script:
Jerry Siegel
Pencils:
Joe Shuster
Inks:
Joe Shuster
Colors:
?
Letters:
Joe Shuster ?

Synopsis:
Superman's strength is attributed to the lighter gravity found on Earth, and is compared to the ant and the grasshopper, both insects whose strength and jumping ability, by comparsion, would be considered super strength.
Reprints:

Indexer Notes

Adapted (not reprinted) from page 1 in Action Comics #1. According to Superman: The Complete History, the idea and title for this sequence came from M. C. Gaines in a letter to Siegel and Shuster dated 1939-03-27.

Superman & Action Comics Invite You to Become a Charter Member of the Supermen of America (Table of Contents)

promo (ad from the publisher) / 2 pages (report information)

Script:
?
Pencils:
Joe Shuster (illustration)
Inks:
Joe Shuster (illustration)
Colors:
?
Letters:
typeset

Characters:
Superman [Clark Kent] (inset)
Reprints:

Indexer Notes

Supermen of America fan club application (initial launch). Illustration accompanying promo also used on the pinup on the back cover.

[The Blakely Mine Disaster] (Table of Contents)

Superman / comic story / 12.67 pages (report information)

Script:
Jerry Siegel [as Jerome Siegel] (signed)
Pencils:
Joe Shuster (signed)
Inks:
Joe Shuster (signed)
Colors:
?
Letters:
Joe Shuster

Genre:
superhero
Characters:
Superman [Clark Kent]; George Taylor; Elsa Maxwell; George; Stanislaw Kober; Thornton Blakely (villain)
Synopsis:
Clark asks editor Taylor for the assignment at a cave-in the Blakely Mine, a mine notorious for its unsafe working conditions. However, when he disguises himself as a miner, he is caught and taken to Blakely, who is entertaining guests at a party. Blakely decides to move the party into the mine, showing to all present that conditions and fail safe measures are more than adequate for the worker's safety.
Reprints:

Indexer Notes

Superman appears in only one panel in this story. Wears blue boots. First line: "A creaking of timber - an ominous rumble - and then, with a terrific crash, the Blakely coal mine caves in, entrapping a lone miner within its terrible confines!"

["Hey Fellers!"] (Table of Contents)

promo (ad from the publisher) / 0.33 page (report information)

Script:
?
Pencils:
?
Inks:
?
Colors:
?
Letters:
?

Reprints:

Indexer Notes

Ad from membership in The Supermen of America.

[Superman Plays Football] (Table of Contents)

Superman / comic story / 12.75 pages (report information)

Script:
Jerry Siegel [as Jerome Siegel] (signed)
Pencils:
Joe Shuster (signed)
Inks:
Joe Shuster (signed)
Colors:
?
Letters:
Joe Shuster

Genre:
superhero
Characters:
Superman [Clark Kent]; Tommy Burke; Mary; Wallace Dodd (cameo); Coach Randall (villain)
Synopsis:
Learning that the football coach of Dale University, who is desperately trying to save his job, has hired professional thugs to play against Cordell University, Superman kidnaps Cordell's bench warmer-player, Tommy Burke, and takes his place in the big game, foiling the plot and allowing Cordell to win the game.
Reprints:
Keywords:
Evening News

Indexer Notes

Clark works for the Evening News in this story. Superman wears blue boots. First line: "Exhilarated by the demon Speed, a drunken, irresponsible driver races faster -- faster still!"

Acquiring Super-Strength (Table of Contents)

Acquiring Super-Strength / activity / 0.25 page (report information)

Script:
?
Pencils:
?
Inks:
?
Colors:
?
Letters:
?

Reprints:

["Boys and Girls: Meet the creators of the one and only Superman - America's Greatest Adventure Strip!"] (Table of Contents)

text article / 1 page (report information)

Script:
?
Pencils:
Joe Shuster
Inks:
Joe Shuster
Colors:
?
Letters:
typeset

Genre:
non-fiction
Characters:
Superman [Clark Kent] (inset); Jerry Siegel (photo); Joe Shuster (photo)
Synopsis:
Features photos and biographies of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the creators of Superman.
Reprints:

[Biff Dugan] (Table of Contents)

Superman / text story / 2 pages (report information)

Script:
Jerry Siegel (signed)
Pencils:
Joe Shuster (signed) (two spot illos)
Inks:
Joe Shuster (signed) (two spot illos)
Colors:
?
Letters:
typeset

Genre:
superhero
Characters:
Superman [Clark Kent]; Sergeant Blake; Harvey Brown; Biff Dugan (villain, introduction)
Synopsis:
After Superman eludes Sergeant Blake by changing to Clark Kent, Clark blackmails the detective into allowing him a jailhouse interview with Biff Dugan. When Dugan escapes, Clark switches to Superman and returns Dugan to his cell.
Reprints:

Indexer Notes

First line: "Smashed desks, overturned filing cabinets, strewn plaster, gaping holes in the walls, shining steel fixtures drooping in sad caricature of their former modernistic splendor, greeted the startled Detective Sergeant's eyes as he swung open the office door to the firm Harvey Brown, Patent Attorney."

[House Advertisement] (Table of Contents)

Action Comics #14 / promo (ad from the publisher) / 1 page (report information)

Pencils:
Fred Guardineer
Inks:
Fred Guardineer
Colors:
?
Letters:
typeset

Genre:
superhero
Characters:
Zatara; Tong; Superman (inset)
Synopsis:
Promotional house ad for Action Comics #14, for July of 1939, on sale July 2, 1939.
Reprints:

Indexer Notes

This ad contains clues to which printing of the issue this is: on sale date of "June 2nd" (at least first printing) or just "Now on Sale" (at least third printing, second printing is undetermined).

[Johnson Smith & Co.] (Table of Contents)

advertisement / 1 page (report information)

Pencils:
?
Inks:
?
Letters:
typeset

Reprints:

Indexer Notes

inside back cover. Ads for new 576 page catalog of novelties from Johnson Smith & Co., with full pages of novelties available.

[Back Cover] (Table of Contents)

Superman / illustration / 1 page (report information)

Pencils:
Joe Shuster
Inks:
Joe Shuster
Colors:
?

Genre:
superhero
Characters:
Superman [Clark Kent]
Reprints:

Indexer Notes

Illustration used for The Supermen of America club. The original has a dashed line to the right where this pinup could be cut out, which none of the reprinted issues has. Printed on the back cover.

Editing

Table of Contents

  1. 0. [no title indexed]
    Superman
  2. 1. [Johnson Smith & Co.]
  3. 2. [Two page origin of Superman]
    Superman
  4. 3. [Clark Kent Gets a Job]
    Superman
  5. 4. [The Coming of Superman]
    Superman
  6. 5. ["And so begins the startling adventures..."]
    Superman
  7. 6. [Revolution In San Monte]
    Superman
  8. 7. ["Attention all American youth!"]
    Superman
  9. 8. Scientific Explanation of Superman's Amazing Strength--!
    Superman
  10. 9. Superman & Action Comics Invite You to Become a Charter Member of the Supermen of America
  11. 10. [The Blakely Mine Disaster]
    Superman
  12. 11. ["Hey Fellers!"]
  13. 12. [Superman Plays Football]
    Superman
  14. 13. Acquiring Super-Strength
    Acquiring Super-Strength
  15. 14. ["Boys and Girls: Meet the creators of the one and only Superman - America's Greatest Adventure Strip!"]
  16. 15. [Biff Dugan]
    Superman
  17. 16. [House Advertisement]
    Action Comics #14
  18. 17. [Johnson Smith & Co.]
  19. 18. [Back Cover]
    Superman
This issue was most recently modified by:
  • Katie
  • Mike Nielsen
  • Jim Van Dore
  • Craig Delich
  • Allen Ross
  • Steve Dasinger
Issues in this series have been indexed by:
  • Bob Hughes
  • Dwayne Best
  • Pat Lang
  • Bob Rivard
  • Jim Van Dore
  • Mike Nielsen
  • Allen Ross
  • Ed Boner