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Five years into the history of American comic books, Siegel and Shuster gave the medium its first breakout star in the iconic form of Superman, inspiring the entire superhero genre and ushering in the era now referred to as comics' Golden Age. This volume chronologically reprints Superman's seminal earliest appearances, from 1938-39. Given its unprecedented success, it's interesting to note how disorganized Superman's first appearance in Action Comics #1 was-put together from sample newspaper strips that had suffered multiple rejections, it begins in the middle of one episode and ends in the middle of another. Shuster's art is somewhat crude by today's standards, and compared to today's Superman, the character here is under-powered and has fewer scruples, resorting to kidnapping and other crimes in his crusade for justice. But the work has a raw vitality and largely remains entertaining, and even in the first story the Man of Steel's chiseled profile is unmistakable. The stories here have previously been reprinted in three of DC's hardcover "Archives" volumes, but libraries without those will find this a handy collection of some of the most influential comics ever created.-S.R. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.