Issue File: Action
Action Comics #1 Publication Date: June, 1938
Action Comics #1, published by DC Comics, featured the
first appearance of Superman.
This book included ten separate stories, only the first
of which featured Superman.
This was also the first appearance of Lois Lane, the
plucky, and sometimes irritating reporter who becomes a
staple of most Superman
stories. Several oddities in this story compared to the
more established Superman histories: Superman's
alter-ego, Clark Kent, works at the Daily Star newspaper,
not the Daily Planet.
Featured Characters in
this Action Comics Superman Story:
(Clark Kent) (First appearance)
Lois Lane (First appearance)
Butch Mason (Only appearance)
Senator Barrows (Only appearance)
Alex Greer (Only appearance)
Evelyn Curry (Only appearance)
Story Summary: "Superman,
Champion of the Oppressed":
The Superman story in Action Comics #1 gives the first
broad details of Superman's origins, explaining that he
is from another planet and was sent by his
scientist-father to Earth in an attempt to save the
infant Kal-El's life. On Earth, the child is discovered
by the Kents, who raise him as their own child and name
him Clark. As Clark Kent grows up, he manifests various
abilites, such as the ability to jump over tall
buildings, outrun freight trains. He is super-strong, and
his skin is impenetrable to bullets.
Superman discovers that Evelyn Curry is going to be
executed for murder. Believing Curry to be innocent,
Superman captures the real murderess, and takes her to
the governor's mansion in order to make the governor
grant Curry a reprieve. Breaking down the door, Superman
confronts the governor, convincing him to call off
At the Daily Star, where Superman's alter-ego, Clark
Kent works as an un-heroic reporter, he is assigned to
cover the stories about the mystery man with amazing
strength and other other-worldly powers: Superman. Kent,
using his super-hearing, overhears a tip about a
wife-beating, and rushes to cover the story, changing
into his Superman outfit and arrives in time to stop the
husband from killing his wife.
At the Daily Star newspaper Clark Kent is a co-worker
of ace reporter Lois Lane. Clark asks Lois for a date,
and, taking pity on him, she agrees. As they are dancing,
a tough named Butch Mason muscles in on the couple. Clark
acts like a wimp in order to protect his secret identity.
Lois instantly loses all respect for him and leaves the
nightclub. Outside, Butch and his gang kidnap Lois and
take off with her, in their car. Superman arrives,
destroying the car (which is THE iconic Superman image
from the cover of Action Comics #1), and rescues Lois.
From this point on, Lois is both infatuated with, and
curious about, this Man of Steel.
The third part of this story has reporter Clark sent
on assignment to the South American nation of San Monte.
Before leaving for San Monte, Clark first, travels to
Washington, D.C., where he sees a crooked political
lobbyist, Alex Greer, attempting to convince a Senator
Barrows to involve the United States in a war in Europe.
Superman grabs Greer, demanding to know who he's working
for. Greer will not talk, so Superman jumps up to the top
of the Capitol building, and threatens to smash Greer to
the ground. At this point, the story tells the reader "To
Be Continued" in Action Comics #2.