review by VJ Miller, Sr.
This year superman will be 78 years old. His origin has been retold and re-embellished numerous times to bring it in line with the times and to bring new readers up to speed. Superman’s abilities and weaknesses have been altered so much over the years about the only thing he shares with his true origin is his name.
Where did it all begin and what was he really like in the beginning? Roy Thomas has dug through the archives and selected over 20 stories and cover art for Superman during the war years, from 1938 – 1945.
While rumblings of War brewed in Europe Superman was making his debut in Action Comics #1.
Superman was nothing more than an extra strong guy who was semi-invulnerable and could leap tall buildings in a single bound. By War’s end he could actually fly and had x-ray vision and telescopic vision and was more resistant to harm.
For decades the Man of Steel was called a Big Boy scout; obviously due to his Midwestern upbringing and values. In the early years you might have thought it was Batman in disguise.
At times he used brute force to get a confession, he made threats and even used a machine gun to shoot down planes. Often he left felons to their own dastardly fate; never stepping in to prevent it.
DC knew that Superman could likely end the war single-handed. Who could stop him? Instead of engaging in the War, DC decided to keep Superman at home to fight spies, saboteurs, and subversive, fifth columnists. There was plenty to do to guard the home front.
But what of Clark Kent; he could easily be drafted into the service? That was handled by an inadvertent mistake on Clark’s part; one he was not aware of until he’d been classified 4F.
The book is hardbound with over 300 pages crammed full of the adventures of the Man of Steel and his efforts to protect the United States and it’s allies. Many covers are reproduced and a story run in the Sunday Funnies.
Excellent commentary on each sections topic are presented in detail by Roy Thomas and A final summation in closing.
The book is a unique history of one of the most iconic characters from the world of fiction
I give the book FIVE STARS.
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©2016 VJ Miller, Sr. Fair use rights are implied