• Contrary to popular perception, the $130 that DC Comics paid them was for their first Superman story, not the copyright to the character — that, they gave away for free.

  • [74] Sales data first became public in 1960, and showed that Superman was the best-selling comic book character of the 1960s and 1970s.

  • The show also feature a seven-minute part focused on Superboy named The Adventures of Superboy • Starting in 1974, Superman was one of the leading characters in the Hanna-Barbera-produced
    animated series Super Friends and all its sequels until 1986.

  • [14] Siegel and Shuster put together a comic book in a similar format called The Superman.

  • [105] In other media Radio The first adaptation of Superman beyond comic books was a radio show, The Adventures of Superman, which ran from 1940 to 1951 for 2,088 episodes,
    most of which were aimed at children.

  • Superman #75 (Nov 1992) sold over 23 million copies,[77] making it the best-selling issue of a comic book of all time, thanks to a media sensation over the supposedly permanent
    death of the character in that issue.

  • • To celebrate his 50th anniversary, Ruby Spears produced an animated series partially based on Superman (1978) and post-Crisis Superman comics created by John Byrne.

  • [72] Superman is part of the DC Universe, which is a shared setting of superhero characters owned by DC Comics, and consequently he frequently appears in stories alongside
    the likes of Batman, Wonder Woman, and others.

  • [4] “The Reign of the Superman”, a short story by Jerry Siegel (January 1933) Siegel and Shuster shifted to making comic strips, with a focus on adventure and comedy.

  • Superman (1978) was the first big-budget superhero movie, and its success arguably paved the way for later superhero movies like Batman (1989) and Spider-Man (2002).

  • [87] The strip ended in May 1966, but was revived from 1977 to 1983 to coincide with a series of movies released by Warner Bros.[88] Editors Initially, Siegel was allowed
    to write Superman more or less as he saw fit because nobody had anticipated the success and rapid expansion of the franchise.

  • [7][8] Additionally, this new Superman was a crime-fighting hero instead of a villain, because Siegel noted that comic strips with heroic protagonists tended to be more successful.

  • [3][42] In early December 1937, Siegel visited Liebowitz in New York, and Liebowitz asked Siegel to produce some comics for an upcoming comic anthology magazine called Action

  • After Shuster left National, Wayne Boring succeeded him as the principal artist on Superman comic books.

  • Siegel and his fellow writers had developed the character with little thought of building a coherent mythology, but as the number of Superman titles and the pool of writers
    grew, Weisinger demanded a more disciplined approach.

  • • From 2006 to present, Superman appeared in a co-starring role, such as the Injustice game series (2013–present).

  • In March 2018, Action Comics sold just 51,534 copies, although such low figures are normal for superhero comic books in general (for comparison, Amazing Spider-Man #797 sold
    only 128,189 copies).

  • [104] The 1980s saw a boom in the diversity of comic book art and now there is no single “house style” in Superman comics.

  • [68] Comics Comic books See also: List of Superman comics The cover of Superman #6 (Sept. 1940) by Joe Shuster, the original artist and co-creator.

  • [73] Exact sales figures for the early decades of Superman comic books are hard to find because, like most publishers at the time, DC Comics concealed this data from its competitors
    and thereby the general public as well, but given the general market trends at the time, sales of Action Comics and Superman probably peaked in the mid-1940s and thereafter steadily declined.

  • [17][18] Cover of an unpublished comic book, 1933 Siegel believed publishers kept rejecting them because he and Shuster were young and unknown, so he looked for an established
    artist to replace Shuster.

  • [37] In October, Wheeler-Nicholson offered to publish Superman in one of his own magazines.

  • [39][40] Despite the erratic pay, Siegel and Shuster kept working for Wheeler-Nicholson because he was the only publisher who was buying their work, and over the years they
    produced other adventure strips for his magazines.

  • [1] Action Comics was initially an anthology magazine, but it eventually became dedicated to Superman stories.

  • [79] The comic books are today considered a niche aspect of the Superman franchise due to low readership,[80] though they remain influential as creative engines for the movies
    and television shows.

  • [125] Jack Liebowitz established Superman, Inc. in October 1939 to develop the franchise beyond the comic books.

  • After appearing in film, he would be the first actor to star as Superman in television.

  • The character was created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, and debuted in the comic book Action Comics #1 (cover-dated June 1938 and published April 18, 1938).

  • [9] In later years, Siegel once recalled that this Superman wore a “bat-like” cape in some panels, but typically he and Shuster agreed there was no costume yet, and there
    is none apparent in the surviving artwork.

  • • Superman also appears at the end of the film Shazam!

  • [115] • In the Arrowverse, the main Superman (played by Tyler Hoechlin), appears as a guest star in several television series: Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow.

  • • The first live-action adaptation of Superman was a movie serial released in 1948, targeted at children.

  • [15][16] Although Consolidated expressed interest, they later pulled out of the comics business without ever offering a book deal because the sales of Detective Dan were disappointing.

  • • In 2006, Superman Returns was released, designed after the 1978–1987 film series.

  • [114] It starred George Reeves as Superman, and was intended to promote the subsequent television series.

  • He had been slow to respond to their letters and hadn’t paid them for their work in New Fun Comics #6.

  • In the script that Siegel sent Keaton in June, Superman’s origin story further evolved: In the distant future, when Earth is on the verge of exploding due to “giant cataclysms”,
    the last surviving man sends his three-year-old son back in time to the year 1935.

  • Superman has sold more comic books over his publication history than any other American superhero character.

  • [132] Copyright issues Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster Main article: Copyright lawsuits by Superman’s creators In a contract dated 1 March 1938, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
    gave away the copyright to Superman to their employer, DC Comics (then known as Detective Comics, Inc.[b]) prior to Superman’s first publication in April.

  • After the show’s conclusion, this version of Superman appeared in the sequel shows Batman Beyond (voiced by Christopher McDonald) aired from 1999 to 2001 and Justice League
    and Justice League Unlimited (voiced by George Newbern), which ran from 2001 to 2006.

  • [55][56] Superman’s stance and devil-may-care attitude were influenced by the characters of Douglas Fairbanks, who starred in adventure films such as The Mark of Zorro and
    Robin Hood.

  • The duo’s revised version of Superman appeared in the first issue of Action Comics, which was published on April 18, 1938.

  • • The first feature film was Superman and the Mole Men, a 58-minute B-movie released in 1951, produced on an estimated budget of $30,000 (equivalent to $313,000 in 2021).

  • • The last game fully centered on Superman was the adaptation of Superman Returns in 2006.

  • [123][124] Played by Tom Welling, the series covered Clark Kent’s life prior to becoming Superman, spanning ten years from his high school years in Smallville to his early
    life in Metropolis.

  • [10][11] Siegel and Shuster showed this second concept of Superman to Consolidated Book Publishers, based in Chicago.

  • Later seasons find him becoming a public hero called the Red-Blue Blur, eventually shortened to the Blur, in a proto-Justice League before taking on the mantle of Superman.

  • [34] In June 1935 Siegel and Shuster finally found work with National Allied Publications, a comic magazine publishing company in New York owned by Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson.

  • This was normal practice in the comic magazine industry and they had done the same with their previous published works (Slam Bradley, Doctor Occult, etc.

  • [99] Schwartz updated Superman by making Clark Kent a television anchor, and he retired overused plot elements such as kryptonite and robot doppelgangers.

  • • A sequel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), featured Superman alongside Batman and Wonder Woman, making it the first theatrical film in which Superman appeared
    alongside other superheroes from the DC Universe.

  • Writer John Byrne rewrote the Superman mythos, again reducing Superman’s powers, which writers had slowly re-strengthened, and revised many supporting characters, such as
    making Lex Luthor a billionaire industrialist rather than a mad scientist, and making Supergirl an artificial shapeshifting organism because DC wanted Superman to be the sole surviving Kryptonian.

  • [3] In January 1933, Siegel published a short story in his magazine titled “The Reign of the Superman”.

  • [27] Keaton produced two weeks’ worth of strips based on Siegel’s script.

  • [100] Schwartz also scaled Superman’s powers down to a level closer to Siegel’s original.

  • Superman’s face was based on Johnny Weissmuller with touches derived from the comic-strip character Dick Tracy and from the work of cartoonist Roy Crane.

  • [66] It occasionally appeared in pulp fiction stories as well, such as “The Superman of Dr.

  • Superman’s supporting characters include his love interest and fellow journalist Lois Lane, Daily Planet photographer Jimmy Olsen and editor-in-chief Perry White, and his
    enemies include Brainiac, General Zod, Darkseid, and his archenemy Lex Luthor.

  • [1] Superman has been adapted to a number of other media, which includes radio serials, novels, films, television shows, theater, and video games.

  • In 1936, he formed a joint corporation with Harry Donenfeld and Jack Liebowitz called Detective Comics, Inc. in order to release his third magazine, which was titled Detective

  • [35] Wheeler-Nicholson published two of their strips in New Fun Comics #6 (1935): “Henri Duval” and “Doctor Occult”.

  • The extended script mentions that Clark puts on a special “uniform” when assuming the identity of Superman, but it is not described.

  • The issue was a huge success thanks to Superman’s feature.

  • Schwartz allowed stories with serious drama such as “For the Man Who Has Everything” (Superman Annual #11), in which the villain Mongul torments Superman with an illusion
    of happy family life on a living Krypton.

  • [57] The name of Superman’s home city, Metropolis, was taken from the 1927 film of the same name.

  • [122] • His first animated television series was The New Adventures of Superman, which aired from 1966 to 1970.

  • • Superman briefly appears in the first season finale of the TV series Peacemaker (2022), portrayed by a stand-in.

  • [83] Newspaper strips See also: Superman (comic strip) Beginning in January 1939, a Superman daily comic strip appeared in newspapers, syndicated through the McClure Syndicate.

  • • Adventures of Superman, which aired from 1952 to 1958, was the first television series based on a superhero.

  • The first and oldest of these is Action Comics, which began in April 1938.


Works Cited

[‘1. Consolidated Book Publishers was also known as Humor Publishing. Jerry Siegel always referred to this publisher as “Consolidated” in all interviews and memoirs. Humor Publishing was possibly a subsidiary of Consolidated.
2. ^ National Allied
Publications was founded in 1934 by Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson. Due to financial difficulties, Wheeler-Nicholson formed a corporation with Harry Donenfeld and Jack Liebowitz called Detective Comics, Inc. In January 1938, Wheeler-Nicholson sold his
stake in National Allied Publications and Detective Comics to Donenfeld and Liebowitz as part of a bankruptcy settlement. On September 30, 1946, these two companies merged to become National Comics Publications. In 1961, the company changed its name
to National Periodical Publications. In 1967 National Periodical Publications was purchased by Kinney National Company, which later purchased Warner Bros.-Seven Arts and became Warner Communications. In 1976, National Periodical Publications changed
its name to DC Comics, which had been its nickname since 1940. Since 1940, the publisher had placed a logo with the initials “DC” on all its magazine covers, and consequently “DC Comics” became an informal name for the publisher.
3. ^ See USC Title
17, Chapter 3, § 304(b). Because the copyright to Action Comics #1 was in its renewal term on October 27, 1998 (the date the Copyright Term Extension Act became effective), its copyright will expire 95 years after first publication.
4. ^ See Copyright
Act of 1909 § 20
1. ^ Jump up to:a b c The copyright date of Action Comics #1 was registered as April 18, 1938.
See Catalog of Copyright Entries. New Series, Volume 33, Part 2: Periodicals January–December 1938. United States Library of Congress.
1938. p. 129.
2. ^ Jump up to:a b Dallas et al. (2013), American Comic Book Chronicles: The 1980s, p. 208
3. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e Ricca (2014), Super Boys
4. ^ Jerry Siegel (under the pseudonym Herbert S. Fine). “The Reign of the Superman”.
Science Fiction: The Advance Guard of Future Civilization #3. January 1933
Summarized in Ricca (2014), Super Boys, p. pp. 70–72.
5. ^ Jerry Siegel, quoted in Daniels (1998). Superman: The Complete History, p. 15: “When we presented different strips
to the syndicate editors, they would say, ‘Well, this isn’t sensational enough.’ So I thought, I’m going to come up with something so wild they won’t be able to say that.”
6. ^ Jerry Siegel. Creation of a Superhero (unpublished memoir, written
c.1978; Scans available from Dropbox and Scribd[permanent dead link]).:
“…one of the things which spurred me into creating a “Superman” strip was something a syndicate editor said to me after I had been submitting various proposed comic strips
to him. “The trouble with your stuff is that it isn’t spectacular enough,” he said. “You’ve got to come up with something sensational! Something more terrific than the other adventure strips on the market!””
7. ^ Tye (2012), Superman, p. 17: “The
version he was drafting would again begin with a wild scientist empowering a normal human against his will, but this time the powers would be even more fantastic, and rather than becoming a criminal, the super-being would fight crime “with the fury
of an outraged avenger.””
8. ^ Jerry Siegel. Creation of a Superhero (unpublished memoir, written c.1978; Scans available from Dropbox and Scribd[permanent dead link]).:
p. 30: “The hero of ‘THE SUPERMAN’ comic book strip was also given super-powers
against his will by a scientist. He gained fantastic strength, bullets bounced off him, etc. He fought crime with the fury of an outraged avenger.”
50: “What, I thought, could be more sensational than a Superman who could fly through the air, who
was impervious to flames, bullets, and a mob of enraged amok adversaries?”
9. ^ Siegel in Andrae (1983), p. 10: “Obviously, having him a hero would be infinitely more commercial than having him a villain. I understand that the comic strip Dr. Fu
Manchu ran into all sorts of difficulties because the main character was a villain. And with the example before us of Tarzan and other action heroes of fiction who were very successful, mainly because people admired them and looked up to them, it
seemed the sensible thing to do to make The Superman a hero. The first piece was a short story, and that’s one thing, but creating a successful comic strip with a character you’ll hope will continue for many years, it would definitely be going in
the wrong direction to make him a villain.”
10. ^ Daniels (1998). Superman: The Complete History, p. 17: “… usually [Shuster] and Siegel agreed that no special costume was in evidence, and the surviving artwork bears them out.”
11. ^ Siegel
and Shuster in Andrae (1983), p.9-10: “Shuster: […] It wasn’t really Superman: that was before he evolved into a costumed figure. He was simply wearing a T-shirt and pants; he was more like Slam Bradley than anything else — just a man of action.
Siegel: In later years – maybe 10 or 15 years ago – I asked Joe what he remembered of this story, and he remembered a scene of a character crouched on the edge of a building, with a cape almost a la Batman. We don’t specifically recall if
the character had a costume or not. […] Joe and I – especially Joe – seem to recall that there were some scenes in there in which that character had a bat-like cape.”
12. ^ Daniels (1998). Superman: The Complete History, p. 17
13. ^ The copyright
date of Detective Dan Secret Operative 48 was registered as May 12, 1933.
See Catalog of Copyright Entries. New Series, Volume 30, For the Year 1933, Part 1: Books, Group 2. United States Library of Congress. 1933. p. 351.
14. ^ Scivally (2007).
Superman on Film, Television, Radio and Broadway, p. 6: “Detective Dan—Secret Operative 48 was published by the Humor Publishing Company of Chicago. Detective Dan was little more than a Dick Tracy clone, but here, for the first time, in a series of
black-and-white illustrations, was a comic magazine with an original character appearing in all-new stories. This was a dramatic departure from other comic magazines, which simply reprinted panels from the Sunday newspaper comic strips.”
15. ^ Jerry
Siegel. Creation of a Superhero (unpublished memoir, written c.1978; Scans available from Dropbox and Scribd[permanent dead link]):
“I do recall, though, that when Mr. Livingston visited Cleveland, Joe and I showed ‘THE SUPERMAN’ comic book pages
to Mr. Livingston in his hotel room, and he was favorably impressed.”
16. ^ Beerbohm, Robert (1996). “Siegel & Shuster Presents… The Superman”. Comic Book Marketplace. No. 36. Gemstone Publishing Inc. pp. 47–50.:
“So this early “Superman” cover
was done, replete with a “10¢” plug… and was placed on an entire comic book, written, drawn, inked, and shown to the Humor people by Jerry and Joe when they happened to come through Cleveland (trying to shop Detective Dan to the NEA newspaper syndicate).”
17. ^
Ricca (2014), Super Boys, p. pp. 97–98
18. ^ Tye (2012), Superman, p. 17: “Although the first response was encouraging, the second made it clear that the comic book was so unprofitable that its publishers put on hold any future stories.”
19. ^
Jump up to:a b Ricca (2014), Super Boys, p. 99: “Jerry was convinced, just as he was in those early pulp days, that you had to align yourself with someone famous to be famous yourself. […] Over the next year, Jerry contacted several major artists,
including Mel Graff, J. Allen St. John, and even Bernie Schmittke […]”
20. ^ Tye (2012), Superman, p. 18: “When I told Joe of this, he unhappily destroyed the drawn-up pages of ‘THE SUPERMAN’ burning them in the furnace of his apartment building.
At my request, he gave me as a gift the torn cover. We continued collaborating on other projects.”
In an interview with Andrae (1983), Shuster said he destroyed their 1933 Superman comic as a reaction to Humor Publishing’s rejection letter, which
contradicts Siegel’s account in Siegel’s unpublished memoir. Tye (2012) argues that the account from the memoir is the truth and that Shuster lied in the interview to avoid tension.
See also Creation of a Superhero (unpublished memoir by Jerry
Siegel, written c.1978; Scans available from Dropbox and Scribd[permanent dead link]).
21. ^ Tye (2012), Superman, p. 18:”Next on the list was Leo O’Mealia, who drew the Fu Manchu comic and soon found in his mailbox Jerry’s more fully developed
script for Superman.”
22. ^ Jerry Siegel. Creation of a Superhero (unpublished memoir, written c.1978; Scans available from Dropbox and Scribd[permanent dead link]).:
“Leo O’Mealia’s first letter to me was dated July 17, 1933”
23. ^ Tye (2012),
Superman, p. 18
24. ^ Jerry Siegel. Creation of a Superhero (unpublished memoir, written c.1978; Scans available from Dropbox and Scribd[permanent dead link]).:
“I no longer have a copy of the script of that particular version of “Superman”. […]
I never saw [O’Mealia’s] Superman drawings. He did not send me a copy of it.”
25. ^ Jerry Siegel. Creation of a Superhero (unpublished memoir, written c.1978; Scans available from Dropbox and Scribd[permanent dead link]). Extract filed under Exhibit
A (Docket 184) in Laura Siegel Larson v Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., DC Comics, Case no. 13-56243:
“In a letter dated June 9, 1934, he wrote back expressing interesting in the possibility of our teaming-up together on a newspaper syndication
comic strip. […] Russell Keaton’s letter to me of June 14, 1934, was very enthusiastic. He stated that in his opinion “Superman” was already a tremendous hit and that he would be glad to collaborate with me on “Superman”.”
26. ^ Jones (2004).
Men of Tomorrow, p. 112-113
27. ^ Ricca (2014), Super Boys, p. 101-102
Excerpts of Siegel and Keaton’s collaboration can be found in Exhibit A (Docket 373–3), Exhibit C (Docket 347–2), Exhibit D (Docket 347–2), and Exhibit E (Docket 347–2) in
Laura Siegel Larson v Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., DC Comics, Case no. 13-56243.
(Compilation available at Dropbox).
28. ^ Ricca (2014), Super Boys, p. 102: “Jerry tried to sell this version to the syndicates, but no one was interested, so
Keaton gave up.”
29. ^ Jerry Siegel. Creation of a Superhero (unpublished memoir, written c.1978; Scans available from Dropbox and Scribd[permanent dead link]). Extract filed under Exhibit A (Docket 184) in Laura Siegel Larson v Warner Bros. Entertainment,
Inc., DC Comics, Case no. 13-56243:
“Keaton’s next letter to me, sent November 3, 1934, stated “Superman” was in a locker in a bus station, and that he was going to show the feature to Publishers Syndicate, after that weekend. […] I got a brief
note from Russell Keaton. He wrote that he was completely withdrawing from any participation at all in the “Superman” comic strip and that as far as he was concerned: “the book is closed”. Unhappily, I destroyed the letter.”
30. ^ Interview with
Joe Shuster by Bertil Falk in 1975, quoted in Alter Ego #56 (Feb 2006):
“SHUSTER: […] I conceived the character in my mind’s eye to have a very, very colorful costume of a cape and, you know, very, very colorful tights and boots and the letter
“S” on his chest.
FALK: You did that, not Siegel?
SHUSTER: Yes, yes. I did that because that was my concept from what he described, but he did inspire me […]”
31. ^ Daniels (1998). Superman: The Complete History, p. 18
32. ^ Over the years,
Siegel and Shuster made contradictory statements regarding when they developed Superman’s familiar costume. They occasionally claimed to have developed it immediately in 1933. Daniels (1998) writes: “… usually [Shuster] and Siegel agreed that no
special costume was in evidence [in 1933], and the surviving artwork bears them out.” The cover art for their 1933 proposal to Humor Publishing shows a shirtless, cape-less Superman. Siegel’s collaboration with Russell Keaton in 1934 contains no
description nor illustration of Superman in costume. Tye (2012) writes that Siegel and Shuster developed the costume shortly after they resumed working together in late 1934.
33. ^ Siegel’s unpublished memoir, The Story Behind Superman (Archived
September 13, 2016, at the Wayback Machine), as well as an interview with Thomas Andrae in Nemo #2 (1983), corroborate each other that Clark Kent’s timid-journalist persona and Lois Lane were developed in 1934.
34. ^ Jump up to:a b Andrae (1983):
“I also had classical heroes and strongmen in mind, and this shows in the footwear. In the third version, Superman wore sandals laced halfway up the calf. You can still see this on the cover of Action #1, though they were covered over in red to look
like boots when the comic was printed.”
35. ^ Wheeler-Nicholson offered Siegel and Shuster work in a letter dated June 6, 1935. See Ricca (2014), Super Boys, p. 104
36. ^ Ricca (2014), Super Boys, p. 104.
37. ^ Jerry Siegel. Creation of a Superhero
(unpublished memoir, written c.1978; Scans available from Dropbox and Scribd[permanent dead link]).
p. 55: “In addition, I submitted “Superman” for newspaper syndication consideration by Wheeler-Nicholson.”
38. ^ Letter from Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson
to Siegel and Shuster, dated October 4, 1935, quoted in Ricca (2014), Super Boys, p. 146: “…you would be much better off doing Superman in full page in four colors for one of our publications.”
39. ^ Jerome Siegel, in a sworn affidavit signed
1 March 1973, filed in Jerome Siegel & Joseph Shuster vs National Periodical Publications et al, 69 Civ 1429:
“In 1935 Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, a publisher of comic books, expressed interest in Superman and tried to persuade us that the property
would be more successful if published in comic book form where it would be seen in color than it would be in a black and white daily strip. Our experience with him had been such that we did not consider him the publisher to entrust with the property
and his proposal was rejected.”
40. ^ Jerry Siegel. Creation of a Superhero (unpublished memoir, written c.1978; Scans available from Dropbox and Scribd[permanent dead link]).
p. 57 “Joe and I were not sold on Wheeler-Nicholson and hoped to place
“Superman” with what we hoped would be a more responsible organization. I asked Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson to return the “Superman” strips to me. […] I continued my marketing attempts to place “Superman” with a newspaper syndicate.”
41. ^
Tye (2012), Superman, p. 24: “So while they continued to write and draw for him, and to live off what payments they got, they determined not to trust him with their prize possession.”
42. ^ Jerry Siegel. Creation of a Superhero (unpublished memoir,
written c.1978; Scans available from Dropbox and Scribd[permanent dead link]).:
“On January 5, 1938, Liebowitz wrote to me […] that the Nicholson Publishing Company had been petitioned into bankruptcy by its creditors. […] On January 10, Vin
Sullivan wrote to me that Nicholson Publishing Company was in the hands of receivers […] and that “Detective Comics” was being published by the firm for which Liebowitz was the manager.”
43. ^ J. Addison Young, “Findings of Fact” (April 12, 1948),
in Jerome Siegel and Joseph Shuster vs. National Comics Publications Inc. et al. (New York Supreme Court 1947) (Scan available on Scribd):
“On December 4, 1937, defendant LIEBOWITZ, representing DETECTIVE COMICS, INC., met plaintiff SIEGEL in New
York City.”
44. ^ Siegel, Jerry. Unpublished memoir “The Story Behind Superman #1”, registered for U.S. copyright in 1978 under later version Creation of a Superhero as noted by Tye (2012). Superman, p. 309. P. 5. Memoir additionally cited by Ricca
(2014) in Super Boys, and available online at sites including “The Story Behind Superman #1”. Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved December 20, 2015 – via Note: Archive of p. 1 only.
45. ^ Jerry Siegel. Creation
of a Superhero (unpublished memoir, written c.1978; Scans available from Dropbox and Scribd[permanent dead link]).:
“I received a telephone call early in January of 1938 from Gaines of the McClure Syndicate. This was a three-way call between Gaines,
Liebowitz and myself. Gaines informed me that the syndicate was unable to use the various strips which I had sent for inclusion in the proposed syndicate newspaper tabloid. He asked my permission to turn these features, including “Superman”, over
to Detective Comics’ publishers for consideration for their proposed new magazine, “Action Comics”. I consented.”
46. ^ Via editor Vin Sullivan, in a letter to Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, dated 10 January 1948. Quoted in Ricca (2014). Super Boys
47. ^
Jerry Siegel. The Life and Times of Jerry Siegel (unpublished memoir, written c.1946; Scans available at Dropbox and Scribd[permanent dead link]):
“Joe and I talked it over, decided we were tired of seeing the strip rejected everywhere, and would
at least like to see it in print. And so we pasted our samples of a SUPERMAN daily strip into comic magazine page form, as request, and sent it on.”
48. ^ Kobler, John (June 21, 1941). “Up, Up, and Awa-a-ay!: The Rise of Superman, Inc” (PDF). The
Saturday Evening Post. Archived (PDF) from the original on September 13, 2016.:
“[Siegel and Shuster], who by this time had abandoned hope that Superman would ever amount to much, mulled this over gloomily. Then Siegel shrugged, ‘Well, at least this
way we’ll see [Superman] in print.’ They signed the form.”
NOTE: The form mentioned refers to a contract of sale signed on March 1, 1938.
49. ^ J. Addison Young, “Findings of Fact” (April 12, 1948), in Jerome Siegel and Joseph Shuster vs. National
Comics Publications Inc. et al. (New York Supreme Court 1947) (Scan available on Scribd):
“Defendant THE MC CLURE NEWSPAPER SYNDICATE, then submitted to DETECTIVE COMICS, INC. the SUPERMAN comic strip created by plaintiffs, which strip consisted
of a few panels suitable for newspaper syndication […] DETECTIVE COMICS, INC. examined the old material and returned it to plaintiffs for revision and expansion into a full length thirteen-page comic strip release suitable for magazine publication.
[…] Plaintiffs revised and expanded the said SUPERMAN material in compliance with the said request of DETECTIVE COMICS, INC. and on or about February 22, 1938, resubmitted such revised and expanded material to DETECTIVE COMICS, INC. […] On March
1, 1938 […] DETECTIVE COMICS, INC. wrote to plaintiff SIEGEL […] enclosing a check in the sum of $412. which included $130. in payment of the first thirteen-page SUPERMAN release at the agreed rate of $10. per page […]”
50. ^ Jump up to:a
b Jones (2004). Men of Tomorrow, p. 125: “They signed a release surrendering all rights to the publisher. They knew that was how the business worked – that’s how they’d sold every creation from Henri Duval to Slam Bradley.”
51. ^ Jump up to:a
b Tye (2012). Superman
52. ^ J. Addison Young, “Findings of Fact” (April 12, 1948), in Jerome Siegel and Joseph Shuster vs. National Comics Publications Inc. et al. (New York Supreme Court 1947) (Scan available on Scribd):
“The first thirteen pages
of SUPERMAN material were published on April 18, 1938, in the June 1938 issue of “Action Comics”magazine.”
53. ^ Andrae (1983): “…when I did the version in 1934, (which years later, in 1938, was published, in revised form, in Action Comics #1)
the John Carter stories did influence me. Carter was able to leap great distances because the planet Mars was smaller that [sic] the planet Earth; and he had great strength. I visualized the planet Krypton as a huge planet, much larger than Earth;
so whoever came to Earth from that planet would be able to leap great distances and lift great weights.”
54. ^ “The History Behind Superman’s Ever-Changing Superpowers”. Gizmodo. Archived from the original on March 26, 2017.
55. ^ Jerry Siegel.
Creation of a Superhero (unpublished memoir, written c.1978;Scans available from Dropbox and Scribd[permanent dead link]).:
“I had read and enjoyed Philip Wylie’s book “The Gladiator”. It influenced me, too.”
56. ^ Feeley, Gregory (March 2005).
“When World-views Collide: Philip Wylie in the Twenty-first Century”. Science Fiction Studies. 32 (95). ISSN 0091-7729. Archived from the original on April 3, 2013. Retrieved December 6, 2006.
57. ^ Andrae (1983): “… I was inspired by the movies.
In the silent films, my hero was Douglas Fairbanks Senior, who was very agile and athletic. So I think he might have been an inspiration to us, even in his attitude. He had a stance which I often used in drawing Superman. You’ll see in many of his
roles—including Robin Hood—that he always stood with his hands on his hips and his feet spread apart, laughing—taking nothing seriously.”
58. ^ Jump up to:a b c d Andrae (1983)
59. ^ Jerry Siegel, quoted in Andrae (1983): “I loved The Mark of
Zorro, and I’m sure that had some influence on me. I did also see The Scarlet Pimpernel but didn’t care much for it.”
60. ^ Jerry Siegel. Creation of a Superhero (unpublished memoir, written c.1978; Scans available from Dropbox and Scribd[permanent
dead link]).:
“In movies, I had seen “The Scarlet Pimpernel”, “The Mark of Zorro” and Rudolph Valentino in “The Eagle”, and I thought that a mighty hero, who in another identity pretended to be an ineffectual weakling, made for great dramatic contrast.
In addition, it would, in a comic strip, permit some humorous characterization.”
61. ^ Siegel: “We especially loved some of those movies in which Harold Lloyd would start off as a sort of momma’s boy being pushed around, kicked around, thrown around,
and then suddenly would turn into a fighting whirlwind.”
Shuster: “I was kind of mild-manned and wore glasses so I really identified with it”
Anthony Wall (1981). Superman – The Comic Strip Hero (Television production). BBC. Event occurs at 00:04:50.
Archived from the original on December 28, 2015.
62. ^ Andrae (1983): Siegel: “As a high school student, I thought that someday I might become a reporter, and I had crushes on several attractive girls who either didn’t know I existed or didn’t
care I existed. […] It occurred to me: What if I was real terrific? What if I had something special going for me, like jumping over buildings or throwing cars around or something like that? Then maybe they would notice me.”
63. ^ Shuster in Andrae
(1983) “I tried to build up my body. I was so skinny; I went in for weight-lifting and athletics. I used to get all the body-building magazines from the second-hand stores — and read them….”
64. ^ Andrae (1983): “It was inspired by the costume
pictures that Fairbanks did: they greatly influenced us.”
65. ^ Ricca (2014). Super Boys, p. 124: “The overall physical look of Superman himself is from Johnny Weissmuller, whose face Joe swiped from movie magazines and news articles. … Joe just
squinted the eyes like his idol Roy Crane [did with his characters] and added a Dick Tracy smile.” Ricca cites Beerbohm, Robert L. (August 1997). “The Big Bang Theory of Comic Book History”. Comic Book Marketplace. Vol. 2, no. 50. Coronado, California:
Gemstone Publishing.
66. ^ Ricca (2014). Super Boys, p. 129: “What the boys did read were the magazines and papers where “superman” was a common word. Its usage was almost always preceded by “a.” Most times the word was used to refer to an athlete
or a politician.”
67. ^ Flagg, Francis (November 11, 1931). “The Superman of Dr. Jukes”. Wonder Stories. Gernsback.
68. ^ Jacobson, Howard (March 5, 2005). “Up, Up and Oy Vey!”. The Times. UK. p. 5.: “If Siegel and Shuster knew of Nietzsche’s
Ubermensch, they didn’t say…”
69. ^ “Comic with first Superman story sells for $1.5m”. The Independent. March 30, 2010. Archived from the original on April 2, 2010. Retrieved March 30, 2010.
70. ^ Action Comics Archived February 23, 2016, at
the Wayback Machine at the Grand Comics Database.
71. ^ Superman Archived February 27, 2016, at the Wayback Machine (1939–1986 series) and Adventures of Superman Archived March 5, 2016, at the Wayback Machine (1987 continuation of series) at the
Grand Comics Database.
72. ^ “Superman”-titled comics Archived March 5, 2016, at the Wayback Machine at the Grand Comics Database.
73. ^ “Best-selling comic books of all time worldwide as of February 2015 (in million copies)”. Statista. Retrieved
July 30, 2018.
74. ^ Tilley, Carol (March 1, 2016). “Unbalanced Production: The Comics Business in the 1940s”. The Beat. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
75. ^ Tye (2012). Superman, p. 163: “It did work. In 1960, the first year in which sales data was
made public, Superman was selling more comic books than any other title or character, and he stayed on top through much of the decade.
76. ^ Comichron. Comic Book Sales By Year Archived July 23, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
77. ^ “Thesp trio eyes
‘Nurse’; ‘Superman’ may fly”. September 29, 1998.
78. ^ Tye (2012). Superman, p. 245: “Journalists, along with most of their readers and viewers, didn’t understand that heroes regularly perished in the comics and almost never stayed
79. ^ “2018 Comic Book Sales to Comic Book Shops”. Comichron. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
80. ^ Tye (2012). Superman, p. 294: “The remaining audience [by 2011] was dedicated to the point of fanaticism, a trend that was self-reinforcing. No
longer did casual readers pick up a comic at the drugstore or grocery, both because the books increasingly required an insider’s knowledge to follow the action and because they simply weren’t being sold anymore at markets, pharmacies, or even the
few newsstands that were left. […] Comic books had gone from being a cultural emblem to a countercultural refuge.”
81. ^ Tye (2012). Superman, p. 212: “So Jenette [Kahn] and her business-savvy sidekick, Paul Levitz, started viewing comics as creative
engines rather than cash cows, able to spin off profitable enterprises in other media.”
82. ^ Scivally (2007). Superman on Film, Television, Radio and Broadway, p. 166: “Whereas in the 1950s, the average comic book reader was 12 years old, by the
1990s, the average comic book reader was 20. A mere decade later, in 2001, the average age of comic book readers was 25.”
83. ^ Gordon (2017). Superman: The Persistence of an American Icon p. 164
84. ^ Tumey, Paul (April 14, 2014). “Reviews: Superman:
The Golden Age Sundays 1943–1946”. The Comics Journal. Archived from the original on May 29, 2014. Retrieved March 1, 2016. …Jerry Siegel had his hands — and typewriter — full, turning out stories for the comic books and the daily newspaper strips
(which had completely separate continuities from the Sundays).
85. ^ Daniels (1998). Superman: The Complete History, p. 74
86. ^ Cole, Neil A. (ed.). “Wayne Boring (1905–1987)”. Archived from the original on October 8, 2016.
Retrieved March 2, 2016.
87. ^ Cole, Neil A. (ed.). “Win Mortimer (1919–1998)”. Archived from the original on June 30, 2014. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
88. ^ Younis, Steven (ed.). “Superman Newspaper Strips”.
Archived from the original on March 26, 2015. Retrieved February 28, 2016.
89. ^ Tye (2012). Superman, p. 49: “Initially Harry [Donenfeld], Jack [Liebowitz], and the managers they hired to oversee their growing editorial empire had let Jerry [Siegel]
do as he wished with the character…”
90. ^ Tye (2012). Superman, p. 41: “Neither Harry [Donenfeld] nor Jack [Liebowitz] had planned for a separate Superman comic book, or for that to be ongoing. Having Superman’s story play out across different
venues presented a challenge for Jerry [Siegel] and the writers who came after him: Each installment needed to seem original yet part of a whole, stylistically and narratively. Their solution, at the beginning, was to wing it…”
91. ^ Daniels (1998).
Superman: The Complete History, p. 42: “…the publisher was anxious to avoid any repetition of the censorship problems associated with his early pulp magazines (such as the lurid Spicy Detective).”
92. ^ Tye (2012). Superman, p. 49: “Once Superman
became big business, however, plots had to be sent to New York for vetting. Not only did editors tell Jerry to cut out the guns and knives and cut back on social crusading, they started calling the shots on minute details of script and drawing.”
93. ^
Daniels (1998). Superman: The Complete History, p. 42: “It was left to Ellsworth to impose tight editorial controls on Jerry Siegel. Henceforth, Superman would be forbidden to use his powers to kill anyone, even a villain.”
94. ^ Tye (2012). Superman,
p. 47: “No hint of sex. No alienating parents or teachers. Evil geniuses like the Ultra-Humanite were too otherworldly to give kids nightmares… The Prankster, the Toyman, the Puzzler, and J. Wilbur Wolngham, a W. C. Fields lookalike, used tricks
and gags instead of a bow and arrows in their bids to conquer Superman. For editors wary of controversy, 1940s villains like those were a way to avoid the sharp edges of the real world.”
95. ^ Tye (2012). Superman, p. 162: “Before Mort came along,
Superman’s world was ad hoc and seat-of-the-pants, with Jerry and other writers adding elements as they went along without any planning or anyone worrying whether it all hung together. That worked fine when all the books centered around Superman
and all the writing was done by a small stable. Now the pool of writers had grown and there were eight different comic books with hundreds of Superman stories a year to worry about.”
96. ^ Tye (2012). Superman, p. 173: “But Weisinger’s innovations
were taking a quiet toll on the story. Superman’s world had become so complicated that readers needed a map or even an encyclopedia to keep track of everyone and everything. (There would eventually be encyclopedias, two in fact, but the first did
not appear until 1978.) All the plot complications were beguiling to devoted readers, who loved the challenge of keeping current, but to more casual fans they could be exhausting.”
97. ^ Tye (2012). Superman, p. 165: “Weisinger stories steered clear
of the Vietnam War, the sexual revolution, the black power movement, and other issues that red the 1960s. There was none of what Mort would have called “touchy-feely” either, much as readers might have liked to know how Clark felt about his split
personality, or whether Superman and Lois engaged in the battles between the sexes that were a hallmark of the era. Mort wanted his comics to be a haven for young readers, and he knew his right-leaning politics wouldn’t sit well with his leftist
writers and many of his Superman fans.”
98. ^ Daniels (1998). Superman: The Complete History, p. 102: “One of the ways the editor kept in touch with his young audience was through a letters column, ‘Metropolis Mailbag,’ introduced in 1958.”
99. ^
Tye (2012). Superman: The Complete History, p. 168: “He admitted later he was losing touch with a new generation of kids and their notions about heroes and villains.”
100. ^ Julius Schwartz, quoted in Daniels (1998): “I said, ‘I want to get rid
of all the kryptonite. I want to get rid of all the robots that are used to get him out of situations. And I’m sick and tired of that stupid suit Clark Kent wears all the time. I want to give him more up-to-date clothes. And maybe the most important
thing I want to do is take him out of the Daily Planet and put him into television.’ I said ‘Our readers are not that familiar with newspapers. Most of them get their news on television, and I think it’s high time after all these years.'”
101. ^
Harvey (1996), p. 144: “Artistic expressiveness of a highly individualistic sort had never been particularly welcomed by traditional comic book publishers. The corporate mind, ever focused on the bottom line of the balance sheet, favored bland “house
styles” of rendering…”
102. ^ Eury, Adams & Swan (2006). The Krypton Companion, p. 18: “In 1948 Boring succeeded Shuster as the principal superman artist, his art style epitomizing the Man of Steel’s comics and merchandising look throughout the
103. ^ Daniels (1998). Superman: The Complete History, p. 74: “…Superman was drawn in a more detailed, realistic style of illustration. He also looked bigger and stronger. “Until then Superman had always seemed squat,” Boring said. “He
was six heads high, a bit shorter than normal. I made him taller–nine heads high–but kept his massive chest.”
104. ^ Curt Swan (1987). Drawing Superman. Essay reprinted in Eury (2006), pp. 58: “For 30 years or so, from around 1955 until a couple
of years ago when I more or less retired, I was the principal artists of the Superman comic for DC Comics.”
105. ^ Wandtke (2012)
106. ^ Hayde (2009). Flights of Fantasy
107. ^ Tye (2012). Superman, p. 88: “[Harry Donenfeld] drafted Maxwell
into Superman, Inc., first to oversee the licensing of toys and oth Photo credit:’]