It’s JOE SHUSTER DAY! The Man of Steel and his biggest rival hero are getting a new, expanded trade paperback…
Superman co-creator Joe Shuster was born July 10, 1914 — 106 years ago! This year we have a triple play for you: 1) an INSIDE LOOK at The Toyroom’s custom Mego-style Lex Luthor’s Lair playset, the perfect counterpart to the Fortress of Solitude set we showed you a few months ago (click here); 2) the TOP 13 JOE SHUSTER SUPERMAN STORIES — RANKED, by writer-cum-humorist Fred Van Lente (click here); and, 3) a peek at a new Superman collection coming soon from DC, below.
So let’s get to it, shall we?
OK, we all know the basics of the story: DC ripped off Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster when they bought the rights to Superman. Action Comics #1 came out in 1938 and superhero comics became a gigantic phenomenon. The following year, Fawcett came up with its own hero, Captain Marvel, who eventually outsold the Man of Steel. DC legally stomped all over Fawcett, which helped lead the latter company to stop publishing the Big Red Cheese by the early 1950s. Years later, DC snapped up the rights to the original Captain Marvel and began publishing new adventures in the 1970s under the title Shazam! (The reasons for that are a whole other ball of twine.)
Anyway, the whole Superman vs. Captain Marvel (or Shazam!) thing has been A Thing forever and since DC now controls both, the publisher likes to have the two bash each other around every once in awhile.
Well, get ready for a new collection of these bruising brouhahas with Superman vs. Shazam!, a trade paperback collection due in 2021, according to an Amazon listing. And while this edition shares the same cover as a similar trade from seven years ago, this version includes an additional 64 pages of story.
Dig the official description:
Superman vs. Shazam!
Two of the world’s greatest heroes are brought together in the action-packed collection Superman vs. Shazam!
The Man of Steel and the World’s Mightiest Mortal are two of the strongest men imaginable, but what happens when they find themselves facing up against each other?!
And when Captain Marvel is trapped and the powers of Shazam stolen–will the Man of Steel be able to save him?
Collects Superman #276, The Power of Shazam! #46, Kingdom Come #4, Kingdom Come #1, DC Comics Presents #33, DC Comics Presents #34, DC Comics Presents #49, All-New Collectors’ Edition #C-58, and DC Comics Presents Annual #3.
A few thoughts:
— The 256-pager lists for a lovely $19.99 and is due in March 2021.
— That Rich Buckler/Dick Giordano cover might not be the final one, though I can’t imagine DC would want to change it. Because it is AWESOME. (It was the cover of 1978’s All-New Collectors’ Edition #C-58 treasury.)
— Speaking of that treasury, as much as I dig the look of this trade, I would have loved it if DC published #C-58 as a hardcover, full-size Facsimile Edition, like they plan with Superman vs. Wonder Woman.
— In case you’re wondering, these are the stories that weren’t in the 2013 edition: Superman #276, The Power of Shazam! #46, Kingdom Come #4, Kingdom Come #1. (My hunch is that the Kingdom Come issues are excerpts.)
— Superman #276 isn’t really Superman vs. Captain Marvel at all. It’s Superman vs. Captain Thunder (Cap’s original name) in a highly entertaining, 1974 satirical showdown by Elliot S! Maggin, Curt Swan and Bob Oksner that was adorned with a spectacular Nick Cardy cover.
— By the way, my favorite Superman vs. Shazam! story is 1981’s DC Comics Presents #33-34.
— Standard caveat: This has not been solicited by DC yet, so nothing is official until it’s official. Even then, things can change. Just keep coming to 13th Dimension for updates.
— One of the Grooviest SUPERMAN Collections You’ll Ever See. Click here.
— SHAZAM! A Big Red Celebration of ALEX ROSS and KURT SCHAFFENBERGER. Click here.