Superman The Man of Tomorrow Archives Volume 3 HC (Superman Archives) Hardcover – 8 Aug 2013
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I have always found it a bit of a Paradox that editor Mort Weisinger known to be a crabby,single minded Dictator of an editor spearheaded this era of Superman stories which are absolutely delightful. It is a time of magical world building mythology. If I try examine the stories nobody acts like real people that exist in our world, instead they all act like 10 year boys. They tease each other cruelly, cry at the drop of a hat and propose marriage often. This Archive is jammed full of quirky characters, fascinating places and mostly silly villains.
This volumes collects 14 issues of Superman stories from Action #255 to #268 and 8 issues of Superman from #132 to #139. The Action issues are only one story per comic because the book was shared with Supergirl. The Superman issues are either three separate Superman stories or a 3 part novel length Superman story. The original comics came out in 1959 and 1960.
The book is over 400 pages of comics with an Introduction by Tom Peyer using actual letters from Mark Waid as a child. While this is a clever idea I found it to be not as much fun as the past two introductions which had me howling with laughter.
90% of the writing is from Otto Binder and Jerry Siegel. Otto Binder is one of my favorites and was instrumental in creating the only other magical era in Superheroes that I love as much as Weisinger Superman era, that being the Golden age Captain Marvel. Co-creator of Superman Jerry Siegel never gets enough credit in my book for the fun later stories he created for DC. Jerry Coleman and Robert Bernstein each contribute a pair and moonlighting Batman scripter Bill Finger produces the first Lori Lemaris the mermaid story.
Speaking of Lori she appears in three stories, Red Kryptonite is also featured three times and we get numerous trip to the Planet Krypton. The Fortress of Solitude and The Bottle City of Kandor. Also guest starring more then once are Supergirl, Superboy and even Superbaby.
For villains in this archive we have three Luthor stories and three Bizarro tales, and also two featuring Hercules of the 20th Century plus the return of Mr Mxyzptlk and Titano the Super Ape.
The art is all done by the trio of Superman artists that dominated his books for decades, Wayne Boring, Al Plastino and Cut Swan. Swan does all the covers which are also lovingly reproduced in this volume.
So I bid you to release that 10 year child found in all of us and travel back to this magical, quirky age of Superman. My Highest Recommendation.