So yesterday was the 75th anniversary of Superman’s first appearance in Action Comics #1. In celebration, Brian Cronin over at Comics Should Be Good polled, tabulated and ranked the 75 greatest Superman stories of all time. It’s a great list and got me thinking just why I love this character more than any other superhero.
But first, some backstory. I wasn’t always an active Superman fan. I was aware of the character from an early age, as I think most are. One of my earliest memories is watching the 1940s cartoon where he fights a giant ape at the circus. I remember enjoying the ’90s cartoon and Lois and Clark enormously as a kid. And I’m proud to say I own an original copy of Superman #80, the climax of the “The Death of Superman” storyline. As a matter of fact, the very first trade paperback I ever bought was The Return of Superman, which contains that issue.
But it wasn’t until I got serious about comic collecting in high school that I realized it. My pile of trade paperbacks had gotten so large that I knew some stuff needed to be moved or else risk destroying my shelf.
I looked and noticed I had about six or seven Superman trades. “Huh,” I thought to myself. “I guess this means I’m a Superman fan.” Not too long after that, I watched the first Christopher Reeve film and fireworks went off in my head. Now here, I thought, is a superhero!
When DC rebooted their whole universe in 2011, I was ecstatic. At last, I had a chance to get in on the Man of Steel from the ground up. I’ve bought every issue of the new Superman and Action Comics that’s come out and I love them.
Superman was also the focus of some of my earliest published writing. Long before I started this humble blog, I wrote two pieces for the world’s biggest Superman fansite, the Superman Homepage. It was a wonderful learning experience and I love the community on that site (my user name is TomCon, fyi).
So happy birthday, Superman. You’ve been an inspiration to legions and hopefully will be for the next 75 years and more. I cannot wait for your new film and I’ll keep finding more to read watch and learn about you. Thanks for doing the right thing because it’s the right thing every time.
Y’know, I never have sat down and watched Smallville…