This cover is from the opening Shuster panel in the Superman story in Action Comics (DC, 1938 series) #10 (March 1939).
Per Comic Book Marketplace (Gary Carter, 1990 series) # ?, Leo O'Mealia's son Leo Jr. uncovered evidence of his father's work on this cover from his records.
Per Alter Ego (Twomorrows, 1999 series) #27 (August, 2003), Ken Gale and Rich Morrissey interview Vin Sullivan who remembered O'Mealia. Rich then states that O'Mealia photostatted and cut out the Shuster work from the first panel from Action #10 for the cover and drew the ornate detailing surrounding it. O'Mealia may have retraced the photostat or done some retouching of the figure and building backgrounds. Sullivan did not seem to recall the events of the cover.
We previously credited Shuster alone, then O'Mealia alone.
This is the first version of the Superman origin that mentions Krypton and his foster parents.
New material, newly drawn for this issue. Superman wears red boots. The story has no masthead or by-line. The story continues in the next sequence.
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 (DC, 1938 series) #1 (June 1938) appears in panel 67.
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.
Adapted (not reprinted) from page 1 in Action Comics (DC, 1938 series) #1 (June 1938). 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 March 27, 1939.
Superman appears in only one panel in this story. Wears blue boots.
Clark works for the Evening News in this story. Superman wears blue boots.
In this story, Clark works for the Daily Star.
This illustration was originally used for The Supermen of America club. This original back cover appearance has a dashed line to the right where this pinup could be cut out. The dashed line does not appear on any of the comics this back cover was reprinted.
This image also appears on Action Comics (DC, 1938 series) covers as a masthead image from issues 16 (September 1939) to 127 (December 1948).
This image was trademarked and has been redrawn and homaged numerous times as both a call-back to the original image but to help maintain the trademark. Trademark application from Detective Comics, Inc., New York, N.Y. Application on June 3, 1941. Trademark Serial No. 444,138.
The statement to the U.S. Patent Office by treasurer Jacob S. Liebowitz stated that the trademark had been in use since September 3, 1937. As to what this date might be referring to is unknown.