Hey. Brief into here. My name is Will Gaut, I am 22 years old, and I love comics. I have gotten a hold of a few thousand, and am working on reading them from the very beginning. I started almost a year ago with the year 1935, and am now in 1952. Unfortunately for you I am not going back over those years, but I may give a brief summery of what I read.
I was a little bored at first, all I had was Doctor Occult, Slam Brady, and Speed Saunders. None of whom really grabbed me, of course this was also the golden age, and the type of story telling has changed immensely. Of course I already knew about Superman, I mean he’s kind of a massive icon. I’d seen movies and tv shows which featured him many times, so it was very exciting to read his very first appearance.
Back then he was completely invulnerable, Kyrptonite not being brought into the comic until 1949. Most of his tales involved him having to trick his opponents, for at the time there was no one who could even come close to his strength. He still doesn’t know his name is Kal-el, but he now knows he’s from Krypton, and why he’s on Earth. He’s smitten with Lois, and works for the Daily Planet, which used to be called the Daily Star. Perry White is in charge, and Jimmy, well he’s there? not really. He doesn’t become big until the silver age hits. Let’s clarify here that I am talking about the Earth-two Superman, when talking comics, it’s best to make sure people know what universe you’re on about.
His powers include speed (super) , strength (super), x-ray vision, flight, invulnerability, intelligence (super) and being able to hold his breath indefinitely. His main villains have been the Prankster, the Toyman, Mr Mxyzptlk, the Ultra-Humanite, a con man named J. Wilbur Wolfingham, and of course Lex Luthor.
The Prankster is exactly what he sounds like, he commits crimes by pulling jokes that he alone thinks are humorous. Honestly I don’t know much about him, in part because the golden age doesn’t really flesh out characters, and also because he was introduced very early on, so I may have forgotten.
The Toyman is someone I actually knew about before my trip into the past, but not this Toyman. Instead of being a creepy toy himself this man was squat and clever. He’s made a Superman doll that tossed him out of prison, he’s made toy boats that blow up and sink real boats, toy guns have been filled with gas, and he’s even made a fool of Superman a time or two.
Okay, I can’t help it, I’ve always loved Mr. Mxyzptlk in case you don’t know him, he’s an imp from the 4th, or maybe fifth dimension and so has fantastic powers, he snaps his fingers and the road is upside down or people have clocks for heads, whatever he wants. Most of the time he’s just bored and trying to have fun in our backwards little dimension, but sometimes his pranks could cause serious damage. The only way to get rid of him is to have him say his name backwards.
The Ultra-Humanite was originally a very smart girl, but after her body was destroyed, she became a bald man. My brother stated that Supes, just has it in for people who lack luscious locks. Unfortunately I can find a picture of neither, apparently they become and ape-thing? I haven’t seen them in a while, but they remain important as the first super human Superman faced.
J. Wilbur Wolfingham has the best stories, in my opinion. Wolfingham tricks poor blighters into purchasing worthless things, and Superman drops in and finds a way to make it the best decision of their lives. But that also means Wolfingham rarely goes to jail.
Lex Luthor, the villain we all know of his. As you may know above was his original appearance, he became bald when an artist mistook a crony as the genius, after that Luthor became bald and buff. But he retained his cleverness all the while. He seems to have no motive at this point, as he has enough money to build his machines, and he never says “I’m going to rule the world” so he’s a bit of a mystery to me.
Other types of stories include a pair he convinced have magic, just for the fun of it I suppose, and he runs around the entire time making their wishes come true. Other times he follows Lois as she runs into an unreasonable amount of trouble, or there are the issues where he thinks his identity is in danger.
This is getting rather long and I do have to sleep still tonight, so I’ll leave it here for now, join me later for Sandman, Crimson Avenger, Zatara, and others that were introduced in the year of 1938.