Reign of the Supermen #214: The Original Super-Man

Source: "The Reign of the Super-Man" in Science Fiction: The Advance Guard of Future Civilization #3 (1933)
Type: PrecursorFive years before Action Comics #1 and some time after Nietzsche, operating under the pen name Herbert S. Fine, Jerry Siegel published a science fiction short story illustrated by Joe Shuster in their own SF fanzine, Science Fiction: The Advance Guard of Future Civilization. It was called "The Reign of the Super-Man" (where this blog series' title comes from, albeit via the post-Death of Superman event named after it) and features the first use of the name Superman (the hyphen is dropped in the story itself) by the Siegel-Shuster team. Of course, it has nothing to do with a strongman in tights.

Rather, Reign proposes the character of Bill Dunn, a vagrant given telepathic powers by an evil mad scientist, who uses those powers for evil and tries to subjugate the masses. It's more like Metropolis (Fritz Lang's, I mean) than Action Comics. Don't worry, in the end, he kills the scientist and can't recreate the formula to maintain his powers. Between these details and the illustrations, we do get a sense of where Lex Luthor came from though. He was the first Superman, so naturally he's jealous of the usurper from the stars. Who wouldn't be?


ShadowWing Tronix said...

Wasn't that the basic plot of the Tangent crossover? They never released the second trade volume so I don't know how that one ended, but it made the Tangent Universe not fun, as is typical for today's DC.

Siskoid said...

Haven't read "Superman's Reign" (yet) so I couldn't tell you.


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