· comic books

The comic book project is turning into a bit of an issue (no pun intended). I'm trying to clearly define my rules for the project and find historical information for publication dates. I started off by reading about Doctor Occult in More Fun Comics from 1935 then Superman and Zatara in Actions Comics starting in 1938. I'm up to April 1939 and reading Action Comics. It's an anthology, but I'm most interested in the heroes that define the current Marvel and DC universes in the order that they were printed. Realistically, I can't read everything and I have to be choosy. There were just too many stories being told. This will be even more important as I work my way closer to the present.

The biggest problem I'm facing is finding accurate information about publication dates. Wikipedia has a list of comic books published by month for a given year. The list is great, but I'm not confident that it is comprehensive as I've encountered missing information in Wiki articles before. I hade found some other resources that I can cross reference for added certainty. Of course, people who compile this information tend to focus on either Marvel or DC and not necessarily based how I would like the information to be presented. If only I ran the world.....

My observations from the early Superman stories show a character with a loose moral compass where death and destruction of property do not phase the main character very much. As long as the end is met, the means is less of a concern. For example, an early Action Comics Superman story has him waging a war on reckless drivers. At least a couple of panels has him smashing through the walls of a radio station like the Kool Aid Man. Another story shows him drugging an athlete and tying him to a bed so that he can take his place on the football field. I can't leave out the time Superman got fed up because the poor people of a neighbourhood were not able to catch any breaks and he went on to completely destroy the slum of a community housing project so that the city would be forced to rebuild some nicer homes for the residents. Sure, he had good intentions, but the means don't exactly justify the end. Where did those people live while their homes were being built? What happened to all of their belongings?

It's interesting to read the early stories of these characters before any real super villains existed. I'm going to enjoy watching these characters and their universes evolve.

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