Sunday, July 29, 2012

July 1940: Superman #6

Cover by Joe Shuster

'Superman' (by Jerry Siegel and Paul Cassidy): In the first Superman story in this issue, Lois Lane is framed for the murder of Norval, a jeweller. Superman discovers the real culprit, the architect who designed Norval's house and security system. There's added complication from Scoop Carter, a reporter from a rival newspaper, who is a complete jerk to Clark Kent. It's a solid story that makes very good use of the journalistic side of Superman's set-up.

In the second story the town of Gateston is taken over by racketeers, and Clark and Lois go to investigate. The scale of the crooks' operation makes this feel like the stakes are big, and it is an enjoyable tale. And I do love the way Clark keeps knocking Lois out with a nerve pinch.

In the third story, Superman helps get relief supplies to the earthquake-ravaged nation of San Caluma. There's a subplot about a thief who learns Superman's true identity, but he predictably dies just a page later, and this interlude has nothing to do with the main story, making this one feel very patchy.

The fourth story involves a shady construction company that is cutting corners with inferior materials. Superman captures them with no difficulty, but when one of their stadiums collapses Lois is injured, and needs a blood transfusion. She gets one from Clark Kent, who has to tear his own skin open, as the hospital instruments won't be able to penetrate it. We also learn that his blood is compatible with all four blood types, and its special qualities allow Lois to recuperate in record time. The main plot is mediocre, but I did enjoy the hospital scenes later and the revelations about Superman's biology. And seriously, if Lois is still being a bitch to Clark after this she is the worst person ever.

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