Sunday, December 3, 2017

Superman The War Years, 1938 – 1945

This book has two companion volumes, one for Wonder Woman and one for Batman. I previously covered the Batman volume. Reprinted here are the seldom seen war stories and war-themed covers from the pages of Action Comics and Superman. The text is by Roy Thomas who does a great job putting this all in perspective. Much of the material is rare, and even if you could find a copy of some these issues you probably can’t afford them. Reprints of vintage comics have become the rage, and I for one am quite happy about it. The original pulps have reached the age where the chemical composition is breaking apart, and soon all these once collectible magazines will be reduced to dust. A topic that is unpopular with collectors these days is the fact that Golden Age comics are less collectible today, simply because they are too fragile. Owning a rare Golden Age comic book is a status symbol and nothing else. All the money in the world won’t stop that paper from turning brown and disintegrating. Reprint collections are the new collector’s items. Superman The War Years is a patriotic, fascinating look at Superman’s involvement during World War II. Keeping in mind that these stories were written before Superman was depicted as a God-like invincible figure, these are tales of a Lost America, the one our parents and grand-parents experienced. The artwork is often stunning, colorful, and infused with breezy enthusiasm. Various artists worked on the series during this period, so you’ll be treated to representational stories from Joe Shuster, George Roussos, Wayne Boring, Fred Ray, Jack Burnley and various others. Joe Shuster and writer Jerry Siegel’s creation remains the greatest pulp fiction hero, instantly recognizable, and imminently All-American. I can’t praise this book enough. It’s become one of my favorites of the Superman compilations. 

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