Kingsport Times-News: Superman celebrates 80 years of Action

Superman celebrates 80 years of Action

Matthew Lane • Updated Apr 18, 2018 at 12:24 PM

Eighty years ago today, Superman debuted in Action Comics No. 1. Not only did this event mark the appearance of the first superhero, but it ushered in the beginning of the Golden Age of comic books. A legacy that still exists to this day.

After eight decades and the creation of countless other characters, Superman is still arguably the most iconic superhero in history. The Man of Steel has graced the covers and pages of thousands of comic books and has appeared in dozens of live action and animated movies, television series, radio serials and video games.

Superman has literally been everywhere. If you can think of any type of merchandise, there’s probably been a big red “S” emblazoned upon it.

I admit that the Last Son of Krypton is not my favorite superhero. That prestigious title lies solely on the brooding shoulders of the Dark Knight. However (and being completely honest) I do like Superman as a character and thoroughly enjoy reading many of his memorable adventures.

And I do understand the appeal of the Big Blue Boy Scout. Superman is the quintessential superhero. He fights for truth, justice and the American Way. He strives to be the best person he can be, whether he’s battling Lex Luthor for the future of Metropolis or writing an expose for the Daily Planet.

Though he comes from another planet, Superman often acts the most human of us all.

I fully confess ... in my younger days I was known to have run around the backyard with a bathroom towel around my neck, fully secured with a wooden clothespin. Admit it. You did too.

As with many young kids, Superman had an impact on my life. Heck, the first comic book I ever bought was an Action Comics title (issue 546 to be exact) from my neighborhood 7-Eleven store. I still have it in my collection.

Therefore, from one reporter to the other, I’d like to wish Superman a happy birthday today.

In honor of reaching such a historic milestone, DC Comics has, of course, made Action Comics No. 1,000 into an 80-page special with all-new art and stories by more than a dozen comic book legends, including Dan Jurgens, Geoff Johns, Brad Meltzer, Jerry Ordway, Louise Simonson and Marv Wolfman.

Issue 1,000 includes a previously unpublished tale illustrated by Curt Swan, and for you collectors out there, DC Comics is releasing the book with a whopping nine variant covers — one for each of the eight decades plus a blank cover.

The issue will introduce famed Marvel Comics writer Brian Michael Bendis to DC Comics, who will head the series beginning with issue 1,001. In case you didn’t know, DC Comics is bringing back Superman’s traditional costume of the red trunks and yellow belt.

Originally, the issue was supposed to come out in March, but thankfully someone at DC Comics had the sense to push the release date back one month to coincide with the actual birthday.

If you haven’t read a Superman comic in years or if you stopped following the Man of Tomorrow for whatever reason, now is the best time ever to check back in with Clark Kent, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and all the rest.

So, go and pick up a copy of Action Comics No. 1,000 today. I’m certain it’ll entertain you, it’ll give you at least an hour of fun reading and maybe, just maybe, bring back a few a good memories. That alone is worth the price of admission.

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