Friday, January 1, 2016

Action Comics # 233 October 1957

Happy New Year!
Welcome to “Dispatches From the Last Outlaw” 
and 2016 is off to a Super start!

There was a time when Superman’s costume was an iconic and respected symbol. The familiar “S” insignia did indeed stand for Superman and his red, blue and yellow costume stood for truth, justice and the American way. I remember as a young boy drawing the S symbol time and time again. To draw the S symbol the way it was shown in the comic books was a big deal. Artist Wayne Boring was the predominant penciler of Superman during the 1950s and into the 1960s. Boring’s rendition of the S insignia became the standard, although Curt Swan, who drew the cover shown here for Action Comics # 233, will be remembered correctly as the definitive Superman artist. The story is titled “The Land of One Million Supermen” and the Curt Swan Stan Kaye cover is a classic. When inadvertently landing in Borgonia, Superman discovers the citizens are all wearing replicas of his super-suit. Their Superman outfits are identical in every way except, of course, they’re not indestructible and the cape’s insignia is colored in both red and yellow, whereas Superman’s original cape has a solid yellow insignia. Once the costume gimmick is explained the story focuses on a corrupt politician that plays out in the usual manner, i.e.; Superman manipulates a satisfactory conclusion. Written by Jerry Coleman, “The Land of One Million Superman” is a contrived but harmless tale, perhaps known more by its great cover than anything else. This issue also features a Congo Bill story written by Jack Miller and drawn by Howard Sherman; and a fun Tommy Tomorrow tale written by Otto Binder and drawn by the great Jim Mooney.

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