Superman Chronicles: Volume 1

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DC Comics Proudly Presents The Earliest Adventures Of Superman — Complete And In Exact Chronological Order — From The Pages Of Action Comics, New York World’s Fair Comics And Superman.

For over sixty years he has been one of the most recognizable American icons. An instant hit from his first appearance, Superman’s popularity has grown through the decades — and today he is known worldwide as the defender of Truth, Justice and the American Way.


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Superman Chronicles Vol. 1

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DC Comics Proudly Presents The Earliest Adventures Of Superman — Complete And In Exact Chronological Order — From The Pages Of Action Comics, New York World’s Fair Comics And Superman.

For over sixty years he has been one of the most recognizable American icons. An instant hit from his first appearance, Superman’s popularity has grown through the decades — and today he is known worldwide as the defender of Truth, Justice and the American Way.

But his earliest stories reveal a Superman who took no prisoners, made his own laws and gleefully delivered his own brand of justice — even if it meant dangling a crook by the ankle from above the city, or giving a wife-beater a taste of his own medicine. This was a Superman who embodied pure wish fulfillment, with his early adventures showing a raw super-hero in the making — and the development of an enduring classic!

DC Comics is proud to present this definitive and affordable collection of Superman’s first stories. Assembled here are his earliest adventures from ACTION COMICS #1-13, NEW YORK WORLD’S FAIR COMICS #1 and SUPERMAN #1 — including all covers.
For fans of The Man of Steel, both old and new — or of popular culture in general — THE SUPERMAN CHRONICLES is an indispensable addition to any library!

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Five years into the history of American comic books, Siegel and Shuster gave the medium its first breakout star in the iconic form of Superman, inspiring the entire superhero genre and ushering in the era now referred to as comics' Golden Age. This volume chronologically reprints Superman's seminal earliest appearances, from 1938-39. Given its unprecedented success, it's interesting to note how disorganized Superman's first appearance in Action Comics #1 was-put together from sample newspaper strips that had suffered multiple rejections, it begins in the middle of one episode and ends in the middle of another. Shuster's art is somewhat crude by today's standards, and compared to today's Superman, the character here is under-powered and has fewer scruples, resorting to kidnapping and other crimes in his crusade for justice. But the work has a raw vitality and largely remains entertaining, and even in the first story the Man of Steel's chiseled profile is unmistakable. The stories here have previously been reprinted in three of DC's hardcover "Archives" volumes, but libraries without those will find this a handy collection of some of the most influential comics ever created.-S.R. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401207649
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Publication date: 1/4/2006
  • Series: Superman Chronicles Series, #1
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 258,638
  • Product dimensions: 6.61 (w) x 10.21 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet the Author

   Born in 1914 in Cleveland, Ohio, Jerome Siegel was, as a teenager, a fan of the emerging literary genre that came to be known as science fiction. Together with schoolmate Joe Shuster, Siegel published several science-fiction fan magazines, and in 1933 they came up with their own science-fiction hero — Superman. Siegel scripted and Shuster drew several weeks’ worth of newspaper strips featuring their new creation, but garnered no interest from publishers or newspaper syndicates. It wasn’t until the two established themselves as reliable adventure-strip creators at DC Comics that the editors at DC offered to take a chance on the Superman material — provided it was re-pasted into comic-book format for DC’s new magazine, ACTION COMICS.
   Siegel wrote the adventures of Superman (as well as other DC heroes, most notably the Spectre, his co-creation with Bernard Baily) through 1948 and then again from 1959-1966, in the interim scripting several newspaper strips including Funnyman and Ken Winston. Jerry Siegel died in January, 1996.

  Joseph Shuster was born in 1914 in Toronto, Canada. When he was nine, his family moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where Shuster met Jerry Siegel. The two became fast friends and collaborators; together, they published the earliest science-fiction fan magazines, where Shuster honed his fledgling art skills. In 1936, he and Siegel began providing DC Comics with such new features as Dr. Occult, Slam Bradley and Radio Squad before selling Superman to DC in 1938.
  Influenced by such comic-strip greats as Wash Tubbs’ Roy Crane, Joe Shuster drew Superman through 1947, after which he left comic books to create the comic strip Funnyman, again with Siegel. Failing eyesight cut short his career, but not before his place in the history of American culture was assured. Shuster died of heart failure on July 30, 1992.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2006


    DC Comics re-printing of the earliest Superman adventures isn't a new idea. We've seen them numerous times over the years both in regular comic reprints, Famous First Editions Treasuries, as well as the Action Comics Archives. But in Superman Chronicles, DC gives readers a slight variation. Rather than just providing reprints of a particular title, the Chronicles will be re-printing Superman stories in chronological order as they first appeared beginning with Action Comics #1 back in 1938. Thus this volume goes in order of Action Comics numbers 1 through 12, then New York World's Fair #1, Action Comics #13, and finally concluding with Superman #1. Obviously the often re-printed Action Comics stories are at the front of the line in this first volume but that will change in the future editions. If you haven't read these stories before this is a Superman who is very different in both powers and appearance than the one we know today. Early on Superman did not fly, but could merely leap up to an 1/8th of a mile. No real origin is presented other than a brief preface that Superman was found by some motorists and placed into an orphanage. No mention of ma & pa kent whatsoever... And it wasn't the Daily Planet where Clark Kent got his start as a reporter but the Daily Star. While Lois Lane was around from the beginning, to say her and Clark didn't quite get along at first is putting it mildly. Lois is downright nasty to Clark leading to a surprised exclamation by Clark when Lois actually says hello to him one day. The villains early on are not exactly on the par of Lex Luthor, Brainiac, or Doomsday. Mostly Clark battles two-bit villains who are pretty indistinguishable from those that Batman may have fought. One may almost consider these early adventures mundane. In one, Clark goes up against a ruthless mine owner who refuses to improve the safety of his mines even after an accident traps several of his employees. One of the most humorous and most prophetic stories in the book is the one where a man shows up at the Daily Star claiming to be Superman's manager and saying he has the rights to license Superman's name for use in films or on products like bathing suits. One wonders if writer Jerry Siegel knew just how big Superman would become back in the late 30's, and how he would have to fight legal battles with DC over the character. Joe Shuster's art was a bit primitive even for the Golden Age and not on a par with others of the period like Kirby, Schomburg, Molduff, and Kubert. The real star, art-wise of these early issues of Action was cover artist Leo O' Mealia who contributes some dazzling covers. O' Mealia was an old pro who was perhaps best known for illustrating the Fu Manchu newspaper strip in the early 1930's. Reviewed by Tim Janson

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 3, 2011

    Classic fun!

    A great collection of the earliest Superman stories in an easily accessible and affordable format. Not just stuff from one comic book title, but chronologically combines the early Action Comics Superman stories, the new material that was in Superman No. 1, and even a story of Superman at the New York World's Fair that had been printed in another comic book. (Later volumes have more of a blend of the Superman stories from Action Comics and his own title.)

    Definitely nostalgic fun for anyone who has any knowledge of or interest in the old (pre-U.S. involvement in World War II) days. I'm not sure how well it may go over with kids born in the 21st Century, though, unless they show any curiosity in the way things "use to be".

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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