Celebrate JERRY SIEGEL: Read the Single Comics Page That Changed the World

The co-creator of the superhero was born 107 years ago…

The late Jerry Siegel, who with artist Joe Shuster created Superman, was born 107 years ago on Oct. 17, 1914. Every year we post a tribute on Siegel’s birthday (Shuster’s too) but unfortunately the stories never seem to draw too many eyes.

That’s deeply unfortunate and I’m always saddened by it. I think one reason is that compared to Silver and (especially) Bronze Age fans, Golden Age fans have become a relatively small subset of fandom. I think another, more frustrating, reason is that fans tend to take Siegel and Shuster for granted, like that nice wallpaper that’s always been there.

So this year, I’m trying a different tack and re-presenting the one comic-book page that changed everything for all of us. Without it, there’s no gazillion-dollar comics/entertainment industrial complex, whether we’re talking DC, Marvel or any of the other publishers whose output has been translated to film, television, video games, apparel, action figures, statues and other merchandise. (Even Peacemaker’s getting a show — and he was originally a Charlton character!)

So here, from 1938, is the first page from Action Comics #1 — the origin of Superman. Take a moment to read it and give a salute to those two kids from Cleveland who directly or indirectly gave us lifetimes of entertainment and inspiration.

Thanks, fellas!

UPDATED: The original post had an inferior scan of the page, so Marvel exec Tom Brevoort sent this over as an upgrade. Thanks, Tom!

MORE

— The TOP 13 SIEGEL & SHUSTER SUPERMAN Stories — RANKED. Click here.

— 13 COVERS: A JERRY SIEGEL Birthday Celebration. Click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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11 Comments

  1. Superman was my first superhero! George Reeves reruns, them comic books in barbershops, then Batman and Spider-Man. Imagine years later reading Action #1 in a library book; the Great Comic Book Heroes. Then fast forward to find Siegel and Shuster grew up 50 blocks from me right here in Cleveland. Great Caeser’s Ghost.
    The red and blue alien who stands for America’s values! Those early social justice tales could play today, except he’s too “Super” for those mundane adventures. If the world ever needed Superman….

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    • They’ve announced that Superman will no longer stand for the “American way”. Sad.

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      • The odd thing about that announcement is that we haven’t seen the “American way” in a Superman comic/cartoon/movie since the Bronze age, have we? Why bring that up now, unless the intent is to create a position statement?

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        • Exactly. It’s something they virtue-signaled about 10 years ago… but they apparently feel the need to reassert their wokeness.

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      • Sadly, America often doesn’t stand for the American Way anymore.

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  2. Joe Shuster, Superman’s creator, was born in
    TORONTO, Ontario, CANADA and moved to
    Cleveland, Ohio!

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    • Hi Dan: I live right here in Toronto.
      The JOE SHUSTER WAY is located at
      near Queen Street & Dufferin Street
      Intersection. Look for it in the Google
      Map of Toronto!

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      • I had a hunch you were Canadian. Toronto is a lovely city, besides being Shuster’s birthplace!

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        • Dan… Welcome to Canada!
          Joe Shuster’s old Toronto homestead is now replaced by tall gleaming skyscrapers … tall
          enough for Kal-El to make a single bound!

          Post a Reply

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