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Showcase Presents Superman Family: Volume 1 Paperback – 15 Mar 2006

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Showcase Presents Superman Family: Volume 1 + Showcase Presents Superman Family TP Vol 4 (Showcase Presents (Unnumbered Paperback))
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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics; 1 edition (15 Mar. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401207871
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401207878
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.6 x 24.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 271,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Glenn Cook HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 April 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This `thick as a telephone book' `slab of a book contains all the editions of
Jimmy Olsen Superman's Pal from edition 1 right through to 22. together with
* Showcase #9 The first Lois Lane Solo Story)

This book was revelation. I simply had not read any of the stories so it was a wonderful experience for me.
A big part of that enjoyment was to be able to read a book about a normal human-. I mean Jimmy Olsen doesn't have any super powers and is a bit of a 'wimp' BUT the stories are enjoyable for me a reader who learned to read and enjoy books back in the 1960's on wet Dinner Times play in an English Primary School.

The stories have stood up well in that I can enjoy them as a slice of late 1950s (almost the 60s) Americana which for British kids America was an alien yet familiar from countless films and T V shows.
We understood the language but the settings were alien. (Imagine Desparate Dan from the Dandy and Gulch Town with cowboys and British Lamposts and 'Bobbies' to get the feel and picture. At how wonderfully strange yet familiar it all was.

The period does reflect the cold war attitude of America and that the USA is the centre (or should that be center?) of the world and Universe.
True some stories do stretch the imagination Jimmy being able to get a rocket to travel to a distant low gravity world easily but hey this is escapism and writing for children under the age of 11. So Middle aged Baby Boomers like myself that read them then will feel right at home.

**(The comics although printed in 1957 lasted well into the 60s despite being reread by tens of children a lesson in thrift in the 2011s surely??)

True the comics lack colour and are printed on really cheap paper BUT you get an awful lot of reading for a really cheap price.
Cheaper than a take away for two and just as satisfying?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Excellent collection at a good price 20 Mar. 2006
By Modrnknght - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Normally, I prefer the color Archive editions of old DC comics, but I can see the sense in issuing these particular stories stories in black and white. Jimmy Olsen is fun to read but I would not want to be paying $50 for a hardcover collection of a few issues. So in this case it does make sense. And the reading lasts a long time. I have the Green Arrow Showcase and I read a story or two a day and it still takes weeks.

I would like to make a note about the previous review which said that there should be more characters in this collection, other than Jimmy Olsen. There WILL be a lot more Lois Lane in the next one because what DC is doing in the Superman Family Showcase is collecting the comics of Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane in chronological order. The Jimmy Olsen comic book series predated the Lois Lane comic books by a few years. They start with Jimmy Olsen #1 and work their way up issue by issue, month by month. So, that's why, near the end of the volume, when they reach the latter part of 1957, her individual comic issues began to appear, and that is where they start including her titles. The second volume of this should be about half Lois and half Jimmy stories but it will be determined by the dates the original comic books came out.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Legendary Stories from Binder and Swan 4 Jan. 2011
By E. David Swan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are two ways to look at these Superman Family stories. You might see the stories as stupid and childish with the color stripped out to save cost and printing done on the cheapest paper available. Another way to look at it is to see these stories as fun and whimsical with art that focuses on the penciling and inking and printing done on thin paper to allow for a spectacular amount of comic material. I prefer to think of the stories as the latter. The author for almost all of these stories is the legendary Otto Binder, most famous for writing over half of all Captain Marvel stories before National Publications ended Fawcett's party. Binder then switched to the very company that killed his gig and produced some of the craziest Superman stories ever. Most of the penciling is done by Curt Swan who is among a handful of iconic Superman artists with a stint that may have been the longest of anyone. Swan has a very consistent, clean, sedate style that lends itself well to Binder's writing. Binder's cohort at Fawcett Comics was the great C.C. Beck who also had a very clean style although a little more cartoonish than Swan. Suffice to say both Swan and Beck compliment Binder very well.

The Silver Age was a wonderful time for comics and an era when covers took center stage. The theory was that artists would produce the most ridiculous, eye catching cover they could conceive and then the writer would create a story around it. It's highly unlikely that this occurred but when you see a cover of Superman revealing his secret identity to Jimmy Olsen or Jimmy and Lois getting married with Superman's blessing or Jimmy with a giant cranium ordering Superman to do his bidding it's almost impossible not to want to know what's going on. A great majority of the stories here are from the Jimmy Olsen series from the mid 1950's where Superman was essentially Jimmy's Genie/Guardian Angel. Rather than rub a lamp Jimmy uses his Superman signal watch with its classic "zee zee zee". Jimmy would call the Man of Steel for such trivialities as hauling him around town when he misses a cab and Superman never seems the least bit bothered by his "pal's" constant requests. Like Lois, Jimmy also appears to be under constant surveillance from Superman because the moment he's in mortal danger Superman inevitably arrives on the scene.

There are no attempts at continuity or seriousness here. If Superman brings back a liquid from an alien planet and gives it to Jimmy for his Superman collection Jimmy will drink it down without fail the moment Superman leaves. It doesn't matter how many times Jimmy gets in trouble for ingesting alien substance's Superman will bring him another next issue and Jimmy will consume it. Metropolis must also be populated by about 30% thugs in suits because Jimmy literally cannot walk ten feet without witnessing a crime or being involved in a hold up. I have to tell you one story as an example because they're just so hilarious. The cover shows Jimmy able to stay underwater for hours. In the story Superman decides to write his secret identity on a note with super ink to be stored in a time capsule and Jimmy unknowingly leans on it causing it to get imprinted on his hand. The only way to wash it off is to have Jimmy spend a significant amount of time in salt water so Superman surreptitiously tricks Jimmy into thinking he can breathe underwater by using a long straw to blow a pocket of air around Jimmy whenever he's immersed. It is so silly but if you can accept the goofiness it's a lot of fun.

The biggest complaints I hear about these Showcase comics is that they're in black and white and I must confess that it was that very thing that held me back from buying them. However thanks to budget limitations of the 50's the coloring really wasn't that great and often detracted from the wonderful penciling and inking. As I said earlier Swan's artwork is very well done and putting all the focus on the penciling and inking showcases his talents to the fullest. If you're into serious stories these are probably not for you but if you like fun stories that will often leave you groaning in disbelief but smiling nonetheless Binder is your man. The Silver Age was an age of experimentation and creativity. Most of the modern aspects of Superman came from this era. Binder created Supergirl, Krypto, Brainiac, Kandor, the Phantom Zone and on and on. My only issue with the Showcase series is the bindings and your cover is almost guaranteed to become detached from the book but this is the price you pay for getting over 550 pages at such a low price.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Jimmy Olsen tales with a little Lois Lane thrown in 17 Mar. 2006
By M. Purvis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The title "Superman Family" might lead one to expect this book to have stories divided evenly among the Silver Age Superman's supporting cast. This is not so. The book is 95% Jimmy Olsen stories, with but 1 Lois Lane-centered book reprinted, plus a 1944 Lois solo story. Don't get me wrong, it's still great fun Silver Age cheese, but people looking for more than Jimmy Olsen tales will be disappointed.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Pure Insanity 14 April 2006
By Jake Bell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
To really understand this book, you have to keep in mind these stories were written at a time when the government didn't regulate what chemicals went into drinking water, pregnant women were encouraged to smoke, and doctors regularly prescribed cocaine and heroin for medicinal purposes. From that frame of reference, everything makes perfect sense. Otherwise, this book is the most ridiculous collection of stories ever printed.

The attitude you bring to the reading will determine if you find them to be sublimely stupid or... well, stupidly stupid. Personally, I laughed out loud often enough that my coworkers started checking in for regular "What beyond idiocy thing did Jimmy do now?" updates.

While the title is "Superman Family," this is a "Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen" book, with just one Lois Lane issue, rougly 20 pages out of almost 600. I'm guessing A) future volumes will focus more on "Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane" without making DC create a different title and B) the marketing folks at DC understood no one in his right mind would buy "Showcase Presents Jimmy Olsen," and were probably correct.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Jimmy in the Spotlight 5 Nov. 2008
By Best Of All - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This initial volume in the series is a spotlight on Jimmy Olson, as the first 22 issues featuring Superman's pal is included, with Lois Lane's first solo outing in Showcase #9.

Written by Otto Binder, the comics are presented in a newspaper-styled format. And Olson is ready - well, almost - for anything; he is a "seeing-eye-dog" for Superman, defends the honor of Lane, is a pugilist who packs a punch and can't avoid a little drama, with his friendship with the super hero briefly on the rocks.

It is a nice collection that shows a fun and oftentimes very light-hearted dimension in the iconic story lines for Superman.
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