In just one week, Action Comics reaches the milestone event of the title’s thousandth issue, a feat that’s taken 80 years to achieve. Leading up to the comic industry historic event, DC has published Action Comics: 80 Years of Superman.
The deluxe edition comprises of 384 pages devoted to the last son of Krypton. It opens with an introduction by Paul Levitz, chronicling Superman’s impact on comics from fledgling medium to dynamic industry while also laying the groundwork for what will be found in the tome. Next comes a foreword by Laura Siegel Larson (Jerry Siegel’s daughter) in which she shares personal details on her father’s life and the creation of the Man of Steel.
A tapestry of old material and new, it reprints noteworthy stories from Superman’s history, beginning with his introduction in 1938 all the way to recent adventures in 2012. Key moments of Superman’s history that include the introduction of Supergirl and Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, as well as debuts of villains like Toyman and Brainiac, are represented.
The nearly two dozen reprinted stories include “The Coming of Superman,” “Revolution in San Monte,” “The Origin of the Vigilante,” “The Terrible Toyman,” “The Super-Key to Fort Superman,” “The Super-Duel in Space,” “The Supergirl from Krypton,” “The World’s Greatest Heroine! Part I,” “Superman Takes a Wife,” “If Superman Didn’t Exist,” “Ma Kent’s Photo Album,” and “The Boy Who Stole Superman’s Cape.”
Along with the reprinted material is a 12-page original story by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster which has never been published.
Scholars and historians present essays on that first issue of Action Comics, Clark Kent the reporter, and Superman’s lasting impact on both pop culture and society, among other topics.
As the book progresses through the decades we see how Superman has evolved as a character, how he was interpreted by talented writers and artists from the Golden to Modern Age, and most importantly his ability to retain the heroic qualities and likability that has made him such an icon.
The large format hardcover is a stylish addition to any collection of superhero comics.