Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July 1939: Superman Daily Strip #127-162

In this storyline, Superman investigates an orphanage that is being excessively cruel to the children.  Garth Ennis hit upon the perfect formula for Punisher stories during his run on the character: introduce some bad people, show us exactly why they need to die, then spend a good few issues showing the Punisher kill them all.  Siegel and Shuster, when doing their social crusader bit, hit upon a very similar formula for Superman some sixty years earlier.  In this story they introduce the orphanage and its owner, show him being really nasty to some lovable kids, then let Superman loose on him.  It works pretty well here, even though most of the story involves Clark Kent's investigations.  And Superman is fairly subdued as well.  He's been shown before to just haul off and wreck everything in sight, but here he just does a lot of sneaking around.  Even when he catches the guy in charge of the orphanage he knocks him out with a neck pinch; I was hoping he'd get punched through a glass window or something.  But even with a mellow Superman, this is pretty satisfying storytelling.

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