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?

2 comments:

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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