ACTION COMICS ISSUE #1
Review Score – 7/10
Writer: Jerry Siegel
Artist: Joe Shuster
As an avid Superman fan, I’ve always wanted to PHYSICALLY read and FEEL the first ever comics of the franchise. But of course, getting your hands on the ‘real-deal’ is damn near impossible! Luckily, for people like me, (who don’t have a spare £4 million lying around) DC Comics have brought out the “Superman Chronicles”. A series of books featuring real scans of the earliest Action Comics – close enough!
The story telling of the panels is actually easier to read than today’s comics, there are perfectly straight gutters which flow and lead the reader effortlessly into the next. Considering the first issue is only 13 pages long, it really gives you a very brief backstory and a perfect snapshot into the life and capabilities of Superman. You first see him as a confident Superman, giving cocky one-liners as he shows his unruly strength to save an innocent woman from getting executed for a crime she didn’t commit, I have to say that he’s quite brutal in his personality and threats, but I love it!
Then you meet Clark Kent as he attempts to wine and dine Lois for the first time, which then gets rudely interrupted by a common thug who walks-all-over Clark, who’s as timid and cowardly as ever to get a first dance with Miss Lane. Clark then gets his first assignment at the Daily Planet to be a war correspondent, but to get the inside scoop and resolution that Superman could get – he swoops over to take hostage and blackmail a ‘slick lobbyist’ into giving him information after seeing a picture of him and the Senator having secret meetings. The story is rather intense and fast paced considering it’s the first ever introduction to the character, which is suddenly cut to an end, leaving you gripped and hanging on for the next issue.
Now the artwork – of course, is minimalistic on detailing compared with the comics we have today. There are details missing every now and then, for example sometimes Superman’s logo on his chest is missing, sometimes the red on his logo is missing, and sometimes his facial expressions are that of a smiley face. But you really have to appreciate that this was the beginning of comic books and comic art, not to mention… it was 1938! Personally, myself I much prefer the retro and original comic artwork. I love the colours, I love the boldness and brightness and I find that comics nowadays seem to have a darker and more realistic colour scheme. And going back to reading old comics, really is a breath of fresh air.