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‘Superman: The Silver Age Sundays, Vol. 1’ (review)

Written by Jerry Siegel
Illustrated by Wayne Boring
Cover by Pete Poplaski
Published by IDW Publishing / DC

 

It’s been said that we live in the Golden Age of comic strip reprints and seeing books like Superman: The Silver Age Sundays, Vol. 1 certainly lends credence to that remark!

This book, the latest in a series of reprints of the long-running Superman newspaper strips published here by IDW in conjunction with DC Comics, presents slightly more than three full years of color Sunday strips, from 1959 to 1963, mostly adapted and expanded by Supeman creator Jerry Siegel from previously published comic book stories by others.

Wayne Boring, who started as a Shuster assistant/ghost back in the 1940s is the artist throughout.  Boring’s increasingly stylized Superman work in the comic books when I was growing up in the 1960s was generally looked at by me—and apparently many other readers—as a poor substitute for the by then more accepted Swan/Klein version of the Man of Steel.

That was our mistake, though, as looking at the beautiful pages in this volume clearly demonstrates. In his day, it was Boring—who received sole credit on the newspaper strip for many years—who was THE Superman artist!

The stories themselves haven’t necessarily aged well and to read them for anything other than the enjoyable kitsch value and the unheralded nifty art is not recommended.

There’s a goofy tale of Superman being drafted, one where Clark is imprisoned by a Castro/Che Guevara type, one where a number of Amazons vie for the right to marry their slave, Superman, the familiar tale of mermaid Lori Lemaris, and a surprising number of stories that demonstrate just how shallow Lois Lane was in those days.

The stories herein work best if you’re familiar with the comic book originals, or even just with the version of Superman from the early Silver Age. That ol’ nostalgia factor definitely cranks them all up a few notches.

The art reproduction throughout is flawless with, as usual, some great behind the scenes extras and info on each and every story adding immensely to the fun.

If you’ve just discovered Superman since Brandon Routh or Henry Cavill, or the New 52, you aren’t the intended audience for these particular reprint books. But if you’re a classic comic strip fan, a longtime Superman fan, or just an open-minded reader/collector who can’t get enough of Clark Kent’s alter ego no matter what version we’re talking about, then this book needs to be in your personal Library.

Booksteve recommends!

 

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