One Panel #51-56: Six on the Way to Action Comics #1

From Slam Bradley: "The Lumberjacks" by Siegel & Shuster, Detective Comics #12 (Feb 1938)

We're a dozen comics away from Action Comics #1 right now, so let me start the ball rolling with Siegel & Shuster's best-known, pre-Superman strip, Slam Bradley. Are we very far from Clark Kent's daring-do? I don't think so!

From Dr. Occult: "The Spectral Killer" by Siegel & Shuster, More Fun Comics #29 (Feb 1938)

If what is missing is super-powers, then their Dr. Occult strip was including that element aplenty, although in mystical rather than science-fictional form.

From Steve Conrad: "The Revenge of Devachan: Part 9" by Creig Flessel, New Adventure Comics #23 (Jan 1938)

Army-Turtles? Look, I'm not made of STONE!

From Speed Saunders: "The Anarchist Submarine Plot" by Gardner Fox and Creig Flessel, Detective Comics #13 (Mar 1938)

Man, some of those Golden Age artists really knew how to do percussive action. Because you know what follows this car crash? Our hero punching the survivors out. Maybe National Comics needs a book devote to... Action?

From Hope Hazard: "The Dechoff Diamond" by Alex Lovy, More Fun Comics #30 (Mar 1938)

All the boys are entranced when the lovely Hope solves a mystery for them. A girl sleuth! Huh! Who would have thought! What's next? A lady president?

From Goofo the Great by Russell Alger Cole, New Adventure Comics #24 (Feb 1938)

I don't think much of the stories - if they're funny, they're New Yorker funny - but I didn't want to go through this process without ever showing off Alger's cartooning, which I think is quite specific and interesting. He's been with National's various comics since their beginnings, providing humor, but also more serious mysteries in Detective, for example, always in this distinctive, sharp style.

Who is Russell Alger Cole? A well-traveled Kansas boy who eventually migrated to New York City and became a newspaper comic strip artist, his claim to fame the syndicated Marge. Beginning in 1936, his work started appearing in the new format that was comic books at National/DC. He died in 1967, age 78, 25 years after his last strip was print.

Next time, we really will hit Action #1!



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