75 years ago today, newsstands across the land put Action Comics #1 on display. On its cover, a strongman in colored tights lifted a car over his head and smashed it nose into a rock as men in suits freaked out all around him. It sold like hotcakes and the world of comics was never the same again. As you know, I ran a series of daily Superman articles for an entire year before relegating the continuing feature to Saturdays. So instead of making the Anniversary about HIM on this Thursday morning, I'll tell you to come back Saturday for more "Reign of the Supermen", and make it about ME instead.
I was born in 1971, a year that was actually pretty important for the Man of Steel. It was when Superman shed his Silver Age trappings - the Kryptonian douchebaggery, reliance on twists, hoaxes and flashbacks, multi-colored kryptonite and physical transformations - and became a modern character. To announce these changes, DC ran a 2-page house ad:
They would also change his boss, from George Taylor to Perry White to Morgan Edge.
And there would be changes across the entire Superman Family line of books:
It wasn't an Anniversary year (except for me), just the start of a new decade, but they really made an effort. Have we seen the same for the 75th Anniversary? Or will it just be the Man of Steel movie and Clark Kent, Super-blogger? Behind-the-scenes trouble at the Superman offices isn't making me particularly hopeful...
Ah well. We'll always have 1971. (But here's to 1938!)