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Issue File: Action Comics #1

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Issue File: Action Comics #1

Action Comics #1

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:


Superman (Clark Kent) (First appearance)


Supporting Characters:

Lois Lane (First appearance)



Butch Mason (Only appearance)

Senator Barrows (Only appearance)

Alex Greer (Only appearance)


Other Characters:

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 Curry's execution.

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.