The First 1000 (Action Comics 1000 Review)

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Superman was the first. I don’t mean he was the first comic book superhero, which he is, but he was the first superhero that I ever saw! I can remember watching the old George Reeve Superman TV show on Nick at Nite as a kid with my family. I would put on my blue long johns, toss a reddish towel over my back and even had a pair of red underwear…I mean trunks…that I would wear to watch! 

Superman captured my imagination, and when I go back and watch those old episodes now, I see how much he has evolved over the years. This past Wednesday Action Comics issue 1000 hit the shelves, celebrating the 80 year history of the Man of Steel. Some of the best writers and artists from DC Comics took part in this issue, writing short stories about the our favorite Kryptonian, including the introduction of Brian Michael Bendis to the DC writing team.

This issue doesn’t have any huge events or world shattering stories that will reshape the face of Superman. What it does have is an intricately written letter of appreciation to Kal-El and the whole Superman family. Each one highlights the impact that Superman has in the DC Multiverse as well as in our culture today. These stories remind us that Superman is still human, with a family and hope. These stories remind us that Superman strives to show us the best humanity can be, while stumbling through mistakes and trials that threaten to break his will and the universe he lives in. 

My favorite story was written by Peter J. Tomasi, drawn by Patrick Gleason and colors were done by Alejandro Sanchez. The story follows a narrative told by Superman himself; in it we see him travel through all the different eras that he has existed, starting with the 1930s. Every page brings a different look as we see the Man of Tomorrow fly through his past. We see his powers grow, his look modernize, and his willingness to fight for those who can’t fight for themselves shine through. Most importantly, we see his love for his family. There wasn’t anything huge at stake (well maybe there was, without Superman who will tease Batman?) Really, in the DC world Superman is the beacon of hope that rallies the people of Metropolis to be better, and the Justice league to battle when necessary. 

I know my good friend Dr. Barrie is not always fond of Superman, but these stories even impacted him. He and I were talking about another story called “The Car.” Geoff Johns along with Richard Donnor share the story of what happened after that first fateful night that Superman intervened. The colors, once again by Alejandro Sanchez, make you feel as though you are in the 30s. Of course, when Superman shows up, he does something that many of us may not expect; he gives the bad guy a second chance. The last panel makes it look as though he makes good on that chance as well. 

Whether you love Superman, or barely pickup a Superman comic, this issue is one to have. It has the feels, the laughs and the memories that remind us why Superman has been around so long!  

-Manderson, the Son of Mander