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1938 Superman Comic Sells For $1M

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the check-those-boxes-in-the-attic dept.

The Almighty Buck 267

slasher999 writes in to note a new world record sale for a comic: an instance of Action Comics #1, 1938, sold for $1 million at auction. Both the buyer and the seller remain anonymous. This comic marked the first time a superhero went to work in a city, and the first time a man flew without mechanical aid.

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267 comments

Anonymous, huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31242444)

Well, if they both remain anonymous, how do we know the sale has happened?

In other news, I just bought a superman comic for $1M +1 from an anonymous seller.
Ha!

Re:Anonymous, huh? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31242472)

bezinga.

Re:Anonymous, huh? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31242506)

Yep, I just sold this guy a comic book for $1,000,001. Sucker.

Of course, if we're both anonymous, how do you know I didn't just sell it to myself?

Re:Anonymous, huh? (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 4 years ago | (#31242558)

I think we all know who bought it: Jerry Seinfeld. I heard there's a superman easter egg in every Seinfeld episode.

Re:Anonymous, huh? (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31243776)

Eh, I think that Superman statuette on the shelf in his living room probably counts as 1/2 or 2/3 of the episodes. I can be seen in just about every one.

I know on occasion they'll drop a line or something, even when they're not directly talking about comics/heroes. If it's every episode they must be very very subtle.

Re:Anonymous, huh? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31242604)

I'm just going to leave this here:
http://www.4shared.com/file/227765731/816ff19f/action_comics_01_-_superman.html

Re:Anonymous, huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31243662)

Wow, the guy who paid 1 million must feel like a jackass now.

Re:Anonymous, huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31242608)

I assume the auction house / website also has some fees. I doubt someone would pay those fees just to have a laugh.

Tax-avoidance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31243216)

Maybe it's a tax-avoidance scheme.

Re:Anonymous, huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31243274)

Holy comic book cash Batman!

Value, Price, and Worth (2, Interesting)

mano.m (1587187) | more than 4 years ago | (#31242486)

It may be valuable as a cultural artefact, which pushed up its price to a million dollars, but is it worth it? A comic book, really?
Although imo, it's still far more meaningful than a lot of what passes as modern 'art'.

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (3, Insightful)

Jojoba86 (1496883) | more than 4 years ago | (#31242524)

Things are worth what people are willing to pay for them. Some was willing to pay a million dollars, therefore that's what it's worth.

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 4 years ago | (#31242564)

Actually, it is possible to define the value of products and services in other ways than just "what people are willing to pay for them". An example of this would be a hypothetical economy where the value of products and services is determined by the resources (labor, energy and and raw materials) required for providing said products and services.

/Mikael

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31242638)

That might be so, but you're leaving out movie and merchandising rights.

That's where the money is!

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31243302)

That might be so, but you're leaving out movie and merchandising rights.

That's where the money is!

Why would I want to see a movie about some guy buying a comic book?

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 4 years ago | (#31242938)

Value is what someone will pay, inputs determine whether you can produce it at a profit. You can turn lead into gold in a particle accelerator at fantastic expense, but when you get done it's worth no more than gold from the ground.

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31243160)

I think you're analyzing his example of another economic system based on the rules of the current scarcity-based system. In such a system there would not be any profit.

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (3, Informative)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#31243002)

An example of this would be a hypothetical economy where the value of products and services is determined by the resources (labor, energy and and raw materials) required for providing said products and services.

I've heard that argument before, and it's never been convincing. The first major problem that comes to mind is that under such a system, an old 26" black-and-white CRT television set would be worth roughly the same as a modern 56" LCD. Likewise, a Chinese knockoff of an iPhone would be worth exactly the same as the genuine article, even though it's complete crap. Your system makes no allowance for depreciation, or differences in quality. The other problem is that your system encourages inefficiency and laziness. If you take 10 hours and $5 in raw materials to make a chair, and I take 50 hours and $20 in raw materials to make a shittier chair, I can sell my product for a much higher price even though yours is actually superior.

Of course, the biggest problem is that nobody has the right to tell me what I can charge for my product, or what I can pay for yours. Implementing your "hypothetical economy" would require a regime more oppressive than the old USSR. I, for one, have no interest in seeing Orwell's vision brought to life.

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (1)

Cassius Corodes (1084513) | more than 4 years ago | (#31243094)

I don't think you are being fair in your analysis - many of the problems you state are also problems in the real world but not show stoppers (i.e. the Chinese knock-off is even cheaper). You can also sell a substandard chair for a higher price (And I dare say this is actually a business strategy for some folk :( ) but this doesn't cause our economic system to collapse. Remember that just because the price is not being set by the market, instead by some central agent, doesn't mean that you cannot select between different products or that you cannot have competition.

Nor does it mean we are going to live in 1984. In many parts of the world the government sets the price of goods - but is not a totalitarian system. It may not be the best economics but such horror stories are not warranted either.

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#31243240)

I'm not sure that you actually read what I wrote, and I'm too tired to try and re-explain it now. I'll get back to you after I've had some sleep - meantime, maybe you could re-read what I wrote and see whether your response actually makes any sense.

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (1)

Yamata no Orochi (1626135) | more than 4 years ago | (#31243522)

"Hurrr, re-read my post," is a fascinating rebuttal, but maybe you could retype it so that it actually rebuts.

I'll get back with you after I snort this line of coke.

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31243374)

errr... you're a complete idiot. i lack the time to tell you why, but in short, you should study some economics and accounting before you talk about merchandising and pricing.

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31243422)

The other problem is that your system encourages inefficiency and laziness. If you take 10 hours and $5 in raw materials to make a chair, and I take 50 hours and $20 in raw materials to make a shittier chair, I can sell my product for a much higher price even though yours is actually superior.

It's essentially a "cost plus" model. You do find it occasionally in government/military contracts. As you suggest, it doesn't produce much of an incentive to keep cost down; quite the opposite, in fact.

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31243490)

I, for one, have no interest in seeing Orwell's vision brought to life.

It already has been brought to life. It's called North Korea.

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 4 years ago | (#31243046)

Possible to define? Perhaps, although you are still left with the problem of how you are going to define the value of the resources, or how you will account for the risk of creating new products or services. Practical to use? Not in the slightest. People will pay what they are willing to pay; if you try to regulate it out of existence, you will simply create a huge black market where people will continue to pay what they want to get what they want.

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (2, Interesting)

mano.m (1587187) | more than 4 years ago | (#31242580)

I understand, but my comment was more along the lines of what Buffet says about gold -

Gold gets dug out of the ground in Africa, or someplace. Then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it. It has no utility. Anyone watching from Mars would be scratching their head.

Gold at least is a store of value and a safeguard in bad times. A million dollars for a comic book? Cannot compute. To each his own, I guess.

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (5, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 4 years ago | (#31242664)

Why is gold? I can't eat it. Can't drink it. Can't hunt with it. Can't heal with it. Can't fuck it. It has some use in electronics, but there's better materials. The only reason to think it has value is because it did historically. If we actually entered a post-apocalyptic world where the dollar was useless, you'd quickly find gold to be equally useless- people would want food, ammo, medicine, sex, they'd have no use for gold. The comic book is just as likely to stand up as gold is.

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 4 years ago | (#31242686)

Electronics and a corrosion resistant coating.
But when the Cybermen invade, you'll be pleased you have a stash of gold on hand.

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#31243798)

You silly person. Cybermen don't invade, they're already all around you!*

* in unprocessed form.

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31242692)

Oh so all the people throughout history were just too stupid to realise it was worthless. is that your stunning point?

gold has 2 properties that you have totally failed to comprehend. it doesn't corrode, and it's rare. i don't expect you to actually understand why this is so important, but lets just leave it at modern civilisation wouldn't exist without gold.

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (1)

mano.m (1587187) | more than 4 years ago | (#31242752)

modern civilisation wouldn't exist without gold

if by civilisation you mean economy, and even then it may very well have.

As long as there are stores of value that are backed by some form of permanence (nobility/national credit), economies can go on. Gold is only important by popular consensus, and that keeps it important, in an unending cycle. There are no objective reasons why it should be so valuable as a metal - one which can be replaced in most technical applications by less expensive alternatives.

And I don't like your tone. What makes you assume another person wouldn't "actually understand" your point, Einstein?

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (3, Insightful)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31242786)

it doesn't corrode,

A small fraction of it is used for that reason - electrical contacts, jewelry.

Though there are other substances that don't corrode either.

and it's rare.

So are John Lennon autographs and George Washington's teeth.

modern civilisation wouldn't exist without gold.

Fascinating. Would you care to explain why? I'd say iron's a lot more important. It's even got an age named after it.

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (5, Funny)

prionic6 (858109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31242808)

Actually, there is a "Golden Age". Closing the circle to the article topic.

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31243098)

Facepalm...

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (1)

jonadab (583620) | more than 4 years ago | (#31243110)

> > modern civilisation wouldn't exist without gold.
>
> I'd say iron's a lot more important.

If I had to name a material that defines modern civilization, I would have said aluminum and/or plastic.

Iron and gold refining have been around since antiquity. If these commodities could have made a civilization modern, it would have happened several thousand years sooner. Even steel has been around for a couple thousand years.

> It's even got an age named after it.

So do gold, bronze, stone, and ice. What's your point?

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31243926)

If these commodities could have made a civilization modern, it would have happened several thousand years sooner.

Raw materials are one thing. The knowledge of how to use them is another thing entirely.

You mentioned plastics. They're mostly made from oil, which has been around for a long time too. But without the knowledge... no plastics.

Then again, plastics are artificial materials, so the comparison with gold is hardly relevant.

So do gold, bronze, stone, and ice. What's your point?

Never heard of the gold age. When was it?

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (1)

badzilla (50355) | more than 4 years ago | (#31242936)

Great - I'm rare! There is only one of me on the entire planet. Although I do corrode. If rarity means something then I'm putting myself on ebay right now!

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31243924)

It can also be pulled into think, flexible wire. It can be spread very thin. It conducts electricity.
Also, it's pretty.

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31242930)

Ahhh, yes. Sounds like you want the armed, gourmet chef, medically trained, hooker made of chocolate when the shit hits the fan, eh?

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 4 years ago | (#31243010)

The gold bug is a particular type of troll. Some of them eventually give up on it, after losing vast sums of money investing in gold. Some don't. There's nothing you can do to hurry along any transition that may occur, so don't feed them.

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (3, Funny)

gijoel (628142) | more than 4 years ago | (#31243042)

If we actually entered a post-apocalyptic world where the dollar was useless, you'd quickly find gold to be equally useless- people would want food, ammo, medicine, sex, they'd have no use for gold. The comic book is just as likely to stand up as gold is.

Don't forget the bottle caps.

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (2, Insightful)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#31243044)

If we actually entered a post-apocalyptic world where the dollar was useless, you'd quickly find gold to be equally useless- people would want food, ammo, medicine, sex, they'd have no use for gold.

That's one of the things I loved about Fallout 3 - the idea of using bottle-caps as currency was sheer genius. If we're going to pick arbitrary metals as a system of exchange for our post-apocalyptic world, why not have some fun with it.

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31243152)

I love how Bethesda gets the credit for all the ideas that are straight out of the ACTUAL Fallout games.

Fallout 3 is a bad knock on the original games. That is all.

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (5, Informative)

jonadab (583620) | more than 4 years ago | (#31243070)

> If we actually entered a post-apocalyptic world where the
> dollar was useless, you'd quickly find gold to be equally useless

No, that doesn't follow.

There have been many situations in history (frequently involving the near-certain imminent collapse of a government) wherein currency rapidly lost all its value. In each and every case, gold was still valuable.

Gold is inherently rare. Nobody knows how to make counterfeit gold. Unless some brilliant physicist discovers an affordable way to do transmutation, that's always going to be the case.

Gold also has a distinctive appearance that makes it easy to tell apart from other metals, even at a glance. ("Fool's gold" may look sort of like it might possibly contain gold ore, but you can't refine it and get anything that looks even vaguely like refined gold.)

These features give gold a durable value that has outlasted innumerable currencies and governments.

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31243120)

> Why is gold? I can't eat it. Can't drink it. Can't hunt with it. Can't heal with it. Can't fuck it.

Please drop your idiotic slogan and read this: http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north262.html

"Can't fuck it" indeed. You make me sick.

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (2, Informative)

kale77in (703316) | more than 4 years ago | (#31243178)

Factors which make gold valuable are easily identified:

1: Gold has aesthetic value. It's pretty, and stays pretty by not tarnishing. Like silver but with colour. That makes it a tradable commodity, and then other values attach to it...

2: Because there's not a lot of it, the price goes up; this then gives it the additional quality of encapsulating high value in small objects that can be carried easily for trade purposes. It concentrates wealth for storage or transportation. This had obvious trade benefits in the past, but today allows a single facility (Fort Knox) to secure a whole system of currency.

3: People will always want to assert and demonstrate status over other people with bright and shiny things. Gold is not only rare and desirable but is also malleable into all manner of gaudy artifacts. Platinum might technically be more ostentatious, but it's too rare to become a trade standard, harder to work, and looks too much like silver to impress people generally.

So gold is uniquely valuable. I don't see an apocalypse changing these factors much, If anything a reversion to the bronze age would give them a shot in the arm.

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31243312)

I am stunned that anyone could consider this nonsense to be insightful! This should have been modded -1 troll.

Re:Value, Price, and Worth (3, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#31243018)

That's exchange value, one of many kinds of value. Since Aristotle, people have recognized multiple kinds of value. For example, if a major copper mine shuts down temporarily, the price of copper pots will go up. But you copper pot does not become better at cooking; as a kitchen item, it is no more or less valuable than before, even though it has greater value on the market than before, if you wanted to sell it. Similarly, if a huge new copper mine is opened, your copper pot does not lose any value as a cooking implement, but is again just as good as previously.

As a Computer Scientist... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31242508)

I say call me when you have issue #0 for sale.

Technically speaking ... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31242572)

Superman is not a man. He is an alien from the planet Krypton. So this is NOT "the first time a man flew without mechanical aid."

Re:Technically speaking ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31242590)

Superman is not a man

Superalien?

Re:Technically speaking ... (2, Funny)

lxs (131946) | more than 4 years ago | (#31242632)

Now you've done it. Superman has gone into a super depression after you've questioned his super manhood. I hope you're super happy.

Re:Technically speaking ... (2, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31242674)

No, he's super! Thanks for asking. All things considered, he couldn't be better, I must say.

Re:Technically speaking ... (5, Interesting)

SirWinston (54399) | more than 4 years ago | (#31242772)

>Superman is not a man. He is an alien from the planet Krypton. So
>this is NOT "the first time a man flew without mechanical aid."

And hence my favorite Tarantino fanboyism, courtesy of Kill Bill Vol. 2:

Bill: "As you know, l'm quite keen on comic books. Especially the ones about superheroes. I find the whole mythology surrounding superheroes fascinating. Take my favorite superhero, Superman. Not a great comic book. Not particularly well-drawn. But the mythology... The mythology is not only great, it's unique.... Now, a staple of the superhero mythology is, there's the superhero and there's the alter ego. Batman is actually Bruce Wayne, Spider-Man is actually Peter Parker. When that character wakes up in the morning, he's Peter Parker. He has to put on a costume to become Spider-Man. And it is in that characteristic Superman stands alone. Superman didn't become Superman. Superman was born Superman. When Superman wakes up in the morning, he's Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent. His outfit with the big red "S", that's the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby when the Kents found him. Those are his clothes. What Kent wears - the glasses, the business suit - that's the costume. That's the costume Superman wears to blend in with us. Clark Kent is how Superman views us. And what are the characteristics of Clark Kent. He's weak... he's unsure of himself... he's a coward. Clark Kent is Superman's critique on the whole human race."

Re:Technically speaking ... (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31243728)

>Superman is not a man. He is an alien from the planet Krypton. So
>this is NOT "the first time a man flew without mechanical aid."

And hence my favorite Tarantino fanboyism, courtesy of Kill Bill Vol. 2:

It truly is a well thought out thesis and a stellar monologue, one of my favorite from the Kill Bill series. However I think it suits the Golden Age Superman better, perhaps even the Silver Age Superman.

Now-a-days they try to make the normal Clark Kent his true personality since that's how he was raised; he was raised on Earth, not on Krypton. In contrast, native Kryptons tend to be more logical and cold; they still love and show emotion but their behavior is seen as alien to humans (or at least Americans).

To complicate matters there's a third person, that of the "idiot Clark" which he uses as a defense mechanism around strangers or when he wants to diffuse people's speculations about his where-a-bouts while Superman was saving someone.

Re:Technically speaking ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31243874)

The modern interpretation is that Superman and Metropolis Clark Kent are both acts with Smallville Clark Kent being the "real" person.

Re:Technically speaking ... (1)

jonadab (583620) | more than 4 years ago | (#31243182)

The whole Superman backstory has been rewritten and changed repeatedly over the decades. Are you sure that Superman was already revealed to be an alien in the first comic book he appeared in? I wouldn't be at all surprised if that revelation came later.

Re:Technically speaking ... (2, Informative)

DuckDodgers (541817) | more than 4 years ago | (#31243558)

The linked article does not assert that this is Superman's first flight, or that this is the first super-hero working in the city. Where did the Slashdot author get that? One of the first tag lines for Superman was "faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound" - writers did not give him the ability to fly until some time in the 1940s, I think, and by that time dozens or hundreds of other flying superheroes had been created.

Price a bit on the low side? (2, Funny)

bbbaldie (935205) | more than 4 years ago | (#31242582)

Comic values are down overall. I suspect that AC #1 might get lots more money in a more favorable economy. This one may be a great investment. I remember saving #1 issues of comics in the early 70's. Anyone else notice what crap, worthless comics debuted during that era? ;-)

Excellent time to sell (0)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#31242588)

I must say, the timing on this sale was impeccable. Didn't these #1 Supermans used to be worth $25,000 or so? Right now is the time to sell. The whole superhero/comic book thing is getting old already. These trends only have a certain lifetime, and I'd say the peak is right about now, if it hasn't passed already. Oh, collectors items will always be worth something, but just not as much as they are right now due to the demand. Any analogs to other trends?

Re:Excellent time to sell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31242618)

Oh, collectors items will always be worth something, but just not as much as they are right now due to the demand. Any analogs to other trends?

Beanie Babies?

Re:Excellent time to sell (2, Interesting)

Jaruzel (804522) | more than 4 years ago | (#31243396)

Once, I was at a sci-fi collectables fair. One of the most popular stands was selling Beanie babies. My 1 year old daughter, whom I was carrying, started stretching out for one of the beanie babies (a small pig I think). I picked it up and asked how much. The vendor told me £30 or there abouts. Watched by the many other collectors who were all sifting through the stand, I bought the beanie baby pig, tore off the tag, and handed it to my daughter.

The silence around me was deafening... I quickly retreated to the Star Trek area, where at least they can take a joke.

-Jar.

PS. She's 12 now, and still has the beanie baby pig, without tag, and without most of it's fur.
PPS. I bought an original lobby poster of Star Trek V at that same fair, signed by Shatner. It's one of my most valuable collectables.

Re:Excellent time to sell (1)

Rennt (582550) | more than 4 years ago | (#31242654)

Classic cars. When I was living in Europe about a decade ago there was a rush on classics - the consensus was that there was a limited supply and all the low hanging fruit was already gone. Collectors panicked and paid insane prices.

Anyway, those cars are now worth about half of what people were paying for them 10 years ago. But you know what? There is a limited supply of early Aston Martins and Jaguars, so as long as the cars actually survive long enough, they will probably see those prices again.

I thought Superman could just leap over things (3, Interesting)

Punto (100573) | more than 4 years ago | (#31242620)

not "fly" (at first at least)

Re:I thought Superman could just leap over things (4, Informative)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31242684)

You're absolutely right [marvelfamily.com]. Well, presumably he had the retconned ability to fly at the time.

Not totally convinced by the argument that flight was a cost reduction thing for the animated series though. This was pretty high quality work, and flying would mean they couldn't use the rotoscoping technique they used for most of the animation.

As you know... (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31242700)

...l'm quite keen on comic books.
Especially the ones about superheroes.

I find the whole mythology
surrounding superheroes fascinating.

Take my favorite superhero, Superman.

Not a great comic book.
Not particularly well-drawn.

But the mythology...

The mythology is not only great,
it's unique.

Now, a staple of the superhero
mythology is,

there's the superhero
and there's the alter ego.

Batman is actually Bruce Wayne,
Spider-Man is actually Peter Parker.

When that character wakes up
in the morning, he's Peter Parker.

He has to put on a costume
to become Spider-Man.

And it is in that characteristic
Superman stands alone.

Superman didn't become Superman.

Superman was born Superman.

When Superman wakes up
in the morning, he's Superman.

His alter ego is Clark Kent.

His outfit with the big red "S" -

that's the blanket he was wrapped in
as a baby when the Kents found him.

Those are his clothes.

What Kent wears - the glasses,
the business suit - that's the costume.

That's the costume Superman wears
to blend in with us.

Clark Kent is how Superman views us.

And what are the characteristics
of Clark Kent?

He's weak... ...he's unsure of himself... ...he's a coward.

Clark Kent is Superman's critique
on the whole human race.

Re:As you know... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31243036)

Burma Shave.

Should read (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31242726)

"This marked the first time a superhero went to work in a city, and the first time a man flew without mechanical aid, in a comic."

You Americans have about 4000 years of prior art, largely in the form of European and Asian mythology.

Icarus flew before Superman (1)

GuyFawkes (729054) | more than 4 years ago | (#31242748)

as subject, lameness filter, meh

Re:Icarus flew before Superman (1)

FornaxChemica (968594) | more than 4 years ago | (#31243088)

the first time a man flew without mechanical aid

Icarus had wings built for him (by his father Daedalus, says Wikipedia), he didn't fly on his own. But this line ticked me off too, there must be earlier examples of men flying without mechanical aid or even natural wings.

Re:Icarus flew before Superman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31243362)

Well, there're tons of examples on the christian bible and other religious/fiction books.

Re:Icarus flew before Superman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31243826)

sadly Icarus the comic didn't do too well, "This comic marked the first time a superhero went to work in a city, and the first time a man flew without mechanical aid.", i.e the first time in a comic a man flew without mechanical aid.

Re:Icarus flew before Superman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31243144)

Plus the Iliad contained superheroes in a city (Troy) long before Superman entered Metropolis. And arguably, when Mohammed ascended to heaven from Jerusalem he was both a superhero in a city AND a man who could fly. Come to think of it, various witches would also count as superhuman + fly + city. And what about Dracula? The more I type the more examples come to mind.

Excellent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31242768)

best. price. eva.

Only 70+ more years till my comics are $$$$$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31242820)

Only 70+ more years until my comics from the 80s are worth something.
Maybe my grandkids will have it made?

Ah, who am I kidding. Those comics from the 80s/90s where way over produced and collected and none of them were as groundbreaking as the 1st Superman.

Wha it Shaq or D. Howard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31242924)

Wha it Shaq or D. Howard?

Technical nitpick (0, Redundant)

Amiralul (1164423) | more than 4 years ago | (#31243078)

Superman didn't flew in Action Comics #1. He just leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Any more description? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31243102)

Worst. summary. EVER.

Terrible Hero (1, Troll)

BlackHawk-666 (560896) | more than 4 years ago | (#31243188)

Superman is a terrible hero. He has every major advantage you could ever need to defeat any form of villain on Earth, and because of that there is never any reasonable doubt that he can get through any situation.

Tied up? Super strength out.
Locked in a mile deep underground basement - fly / tunnel out.
Screwed up and someone you liked died - turn time backwards.
Need to stop missile - use the fricking laers in your eyes.
Someone sneaking up on you with a crowbar (as if it matters)? Super hearing!

He has one weakness, to an element that might as well be called Unobtainium, but for story reasons keeps appearing in the hands of villains who don't possess FTL or even the means to detect it...they just get really freaking lucky and get some!

Even if he gets real unlucky and fights Lex Luthor, who has some unob....I mean Kryptonite, and he's been suckered once again into standing right next to a box of it...he could call a friend to close the box, or maybe nuke the site and spread it all over. All the baddies die, he lives, and the unob^H^H^H^HKryptonite is dispursed enough to not matter.

There's simply no other situation he can punch, fricking laser, or fly his way out of.

Superman makes me want to root for the bad guys.

Re:Terrible Hero (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31243328)

On top of that, Lois could never have Superman's baby. Do you think her fallopian tubes could handle the sperm? I guarantee you he blows a load like a shotgun right through her back. What about her womb? Do you think it's strong enough to carry his child? He's an alien, for Christ sake. His Kyrptonian biological makeup is enhanced by earth's yellow sun. If Lois gets a tan the kid could kick right through her stomach. Only someone like Wonder Woman has a strong enough uterus to carry his kid. The only way he could bang regular chicks is with a kryptonite condom. That would kill him.

Re:Terrible Hero (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31243506)

...

Screwed up and someone you liked died - turn time backwards.

...

He has one weakness, to an element that might as well be called Unobtainium, but for story reasons keeps appearing in the hands of villains who don't possess FTL or even the means to detect it...they just get really freaking lucky and get some!

Well the "time" thing was only for the film. The TV series Smallville had a time travel episode, but it was device in the Fortress of Solitude that could only be used once. IE, he couldn't keep traveling to "yesterday" and use it again, which was the plot point because he travel in time resulted in his father dying.

But that's it. Perhaps in the Golden Age or the early Silver Age he had the ability, but I haven't heard of it in the comics.

As for K, yeh it was a little silly for decades. Something that was incredibly rare kept popping up, they tried to explain some of it away as it being synthetic with a short shelf life but that grew old.

Recently they upped the amount of K on Earth due to Super-Girl's re-arrival. Her ship was trapped in a large asteroid *filled* with the stuff, so metric tons of K fell to the earth for villains and governments to use.

Re:Terrible Hero (1)

Jaruzel (804522) | more than 4 years ago | (#31243514)

I am SO with you on this. I've always disliked Superman for many reasons, but mainly
  a) He's WAY overspecced so that no encounter is ever dangerous.
  b) Even though I know his reasons for being created (US Depression era), his Jingoism simply gets on my nerves.
  c) Theres no inner turmoil. In short, he's a dumb Jock who would have never graduated from High School.

This leaves us with very simplistic stories that fail to engage.

I'm bias though, because for me, Batman is the MAN.

-Jar

Re:Terrible Hero (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31243672)

Except that Superman is also supposed to be super-intelligent. He beats a number of villians, including Nixeldick, or whatever his name is, using his smarts.

Re:Terrible Hero (1)

sproketboy (608031) | more than 4 years ago | (#31243738)

Exactly. That's why he needs a reboot. Back to the original comics where he didn't have all those extra bat-utility-belt powers.

Re:Terrible Hero (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31243980)

Superman is a terrible hero. He has every major advantage you could ever need to defeat any form of villain on Earth, and because of that there is never any reasonable doubt that he can get through any situation.

As a longtime comic geek, I find this is actually a persistent problem throughout comicdom with many superheroes. They become increasingly powerful over time to the point where it's nearly impossible to dredge up a villain who can present a credible challenge. They become gods-on-earth and gods make for poor protagonists because there's no drama if the antagonist isn't a credible threat. Every villain has to be a total Weapon of Mass Destruction able to kill millions (if not destroy the planet). At some point, every government on earth would get tired of their cities being demolished on a regular basis and they would band together to run the magnet-for-mass-destruction hero off the planet. So the comics company ends up having to pull a "Crisis on Infinite Earth"-type storyline to retconn their power levels down before they become totally unwriteable as characters.

In the original 1938 Action Comics #1, Superman didn't have most of his current powers. He was strong enough to jump a quarter mile (half-kilometer), fast enough to race a train, and "nothing less than a bursting shell could penetrate his skin." That was it. No heat vision, no super-breath, no super-hearing, etc, and so his primary villains were usually crime bosses. Over time his other powers were added, and his strength, speed, and invulnerability kept getting amped up to the point where he can now crack the planet in half, he can fly through a sun without so much as a sunburn, and he can run a light-speed; as a result, his primary enemies tend to be killer aliens. And most of the writers on his book have admitted that "Superman doesn't work as a character without Kryptonite" but Kryptonite is a terrible vulnerability because a half-second exposure and suddenly he's totally incapacitated. One Kryptonite bullet would smoke him so it's inconceivable that some villain wouldn't have figured out a way to put one through his brain by now.

Worse, almost every other hero around becomes expendable because there's almost no meaningful help anyone else can offer the overpowered hero. Batman remains useful because he's flat-out smarter and can solve crimes Superman can't; Wonder Woman remains occasionally useful because she's the only other person (ignoring Supergirl) who's close enough to his power levels to commiserate with him. But whenever anyone else is in the same book, they have to either artificially limit Superman or concoct some fairly ludicrous circumstance to give everyone else something meaningful to do.

Truth, Justice, and the American Way (4, Funny)

clickety6 (141178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31243372)

I always liked the way Superman fought for "Truth, Justice, and the American Way" implying that whatever the "American Way" is, it doesn't include Truth and Justice ;-)

Re:Truth, Justice, and the American Way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31243604)

Given how costly 'The American Way' has been on the rest of the world, it would appear the author of Superman was being quite insightful indeed.

No discussion of Superman is complete without (0, Offtopic)

wiredog (43288) | more than 4 years ago | (#31243622)

A citation of Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex [larryniven.org], by Larry Niven.

Assume a mating between Superman and a human woman designated LL for convenience.

Either Superman has gone completely schizo and believes himself to be Clark Kent; or he knows what he's doing, but no longer gives a damn. Thirty-one [now 68+] years is a long time. For Superman it has been even longer. He has X-ray vision; he knows just what he's missing. ...

The problem is this. Electroencephalograms taken of men and women during sexual intercourse show that orgasm resembles "a kind of pleasurable epileptic attack." One loses control over one's muscles.

Superman has been known to leave his fingerprints in steel and in hardened concrete, accidentally. What would he to to the woman in his arms during what amounts to an epileptic fit?

...

Superman would literally crush LL's body in his arms, while simultaneously ripping her open from crotch to sternum, gutting her like a trout.

Lastly, he'd blow off the top of her head.

Ejaculation of semen is entirely involuntary in the human male, and in all other forms of terrestrial life. It would be unreasonable to assume otherwise for a kryptonian. But with kryptonian muscles behind it, Kal-El's semen would emerge with the muzzle velocity of a machine gun bullet. (*One can imagine that the Kent home in Smallville was riddled with holes during Superboy's puberty. And why did Lana Lang never notice that?*)

Comics are a crooked business (3, Interesting)

BenEnglishAtHome (449670) | more than 4 years ago | (#31243778)

Collectible comics, that is.

I was heavy into collecting at one time. I still have my #1s of "The Nam" and whatever reboot cycle Supes was going through at the time.

Here's what put me off the whole business: At that time, the business model of collectible comics dealers was based on ripping off little boys. They'd come into shops with their few bucks and dealers would sell them crap by always hinting that "This is gonna be the next TMNT #1! Buy it now! Only a buck over cover!" I've never known any business that bought stock, put it out, stored it away when everyone realized it was crap and didn't sell, then dragged the same crap out of storage a year or two later, slapped on a higher price, and called it a "collectible". That shit is just ridiculous.

What broke the camel's back was when I managed, some time after the fact, to piece together what had happened with the Dark Knight hardcovers. When they were announced, you could prepay something like $75 and reserve a signed copy. There were delays and by the time all the signed copies had shipped, the book had totally blown up. The demand for the signed collectible hard cover was huge, with new stock selling for $300.

Every lousy fucking dealer in Houston that I was able to get info on (except one, A Few Books and Records on the SW side), told every kid who had prepaid for their book that their book never arrived and the order needed to be canceled. They refunded the $75. Some of them didn't wait a week before they stuck that kid's book in the display case with a huge price tag on it.

With just one exception, every comics dealer I've ever known has been a scumbag.

so, slashdot (1)

nimbius (983462) | more than 4 years ago | (#31243962)

has anyone read this one yet? Ive only watched the movie, so i thought buying issue #1 would be a good way to figure out more about super-mans. is there more than one? why is his underwear on the outside?
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