Saturday, December 19, 2015

Superman The Sunday Pages 1943 -1946

Superman The Sunday Pages 1943 -1946 was published by IDW in 2013, this massive (9 x 12) and beautifully designed book reprints in full color the Superman Sunday pages comic strips from 1943 -1946. This is a must-have for Superman fans. Most of the scripts here were written by Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel with artwork by Wayne Boring and Jack Burnley. Each of this book’s 178 pages reprints a facsimile of the Sunday pages. This is amazing material, and thumbing through these pages I was again reminded of a now vanished America. This is the original Superman as Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel created him, albeit perhaps a slightly refined version from his original appearance just a few years earlier. With a short introduction by Mark Waid, each of these Sunday page entries offers us a glimpse of wartime America, and how Superman worked to inspire and help American servicemen. In these tales, Superman does chores for GIs, flies a father home for the birth of his child, and even bakes a cake. In these earliest stories Superman uncovers Nazi spies and saboteurs while giving all credit to the American Armed Forces.  In strip #197 dated August 8, 1943, Superman tells readers in the final panel: “Our foes are hard and resourceful – but in the army and naval air forces of United Nations, they face a global aggregation of determined fighting men dedicated to one all-important goal: the smashing of the enemy everywhere so that peace and justice will prevail.” By the war’s conclusion the strip re-told Superman’s Kryptonian origin and retells his first adventure where he prevents a lynching. We’re treated to a taste of the science fiction flavor that would creep into the series throughout the 1950s. Also available are the black and white dailies with more scheduled to be reprinted in the future. I’m collecting all of the IDW Superman volumes. The fight for Truth, Justice and the American way is never-ending. These books are wonderful.

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