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  1. #1
    Mighty Member tbaron's Avatar
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    Default A question about Superman

    I am reading really early Superman. The 1940's Superman. In it he doesnt fly he leaps. And he works at the daily star not the Daily Planet.

    So when does he start to fly? And when does he start working for the planet?
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  2. #2
    Fantastic Member Last Son's Avatar
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    I'm not sure of exact issues, but even after the Fleischer cartoons depicted him flying, it was still a couple of years before it became a regular thing in the comics. I believe the Daily Star became the Daily Planet after the radio show renamed it(and also gave us Perry White and Jimmy Olsen).

  3. #3
    Mighty Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    If you are interested, there are episodes of the radio show freely available. As was said, it introduced Perry and Jimmy. And Jimmy was kid. I liked his characterization, generally. And liked him as a reporter better than as a photographer. He really didn't appear much in the comics until the mid-1950s.

    As for Superman's powers - it's quite a while before they all settle down. Don't even think he got a proper "heat vision" (separate from x-ray vision) until the 1960s.

    Looking it up, looks like Daily Planet first appeared in Action Comics #23 and Perry in Superman #7. Haven't read it. They kinda cheat with Jimmy, if I recall. I could be misremembering, but it seem like several differently-rendered nameless copy boys were later retconned to be Jimmy.
    Last edited by Tzigone; 12-16-2019 at 11:52 AM.

  4. #4
    Mighty Member tbaron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tzigone View Post
    If you are interested, there are episodes of the radio show freely available. As was said, it introduced Perry and Jimmy. And Jimmy was kid. I liked his characterization, generally. And liked him as a reporter better than as a photographer. He really didn't appear much in the comics until the mid-1950s.

    As for Superman's powers - it's quite a while before they all settle down. Don't even think he got a proper "heat vision" (separate from x-ray vision) until the 1960s.
    I have several of the old time radio programs downloaded from a radio site. I am listening to The Shadow and Blue Beetle then I will get to Superman. Dint know thats where Perry and Jimmy were introduced. Thats neat.
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  5. #5
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tzigone View Post
    If you are interested, there are episodes of the radio show freely available. As was said, it introduced Perry and Jimmy. And Jimmy was kid. I liked his characterization, generally. And liked him as a reporter better than as a photographer. He really didn't appear much in the comics until the mid-1950s.

    As for Superman's powers - it's quite a while before they all settle down. Don't even think he got a proper "heat vision" (separate from x-ray vision) until the 1960s.

    Looking it up, looks like Daily Planet first appeared in Action Comics #23 and Perry in Superman #7. Haven't read it. They kinda cheat with Jimmy, if I recall. I could be misremembering, but it seem like several differently-rendered nameless copy boys were later retconned to be Jimmy.
    Jimmy was in the baby and archer issues for the first time in superman comics.superman issue#13
    Last edited by manwhohaseverything; 12-16-2019 at 12:05 PM.

  6. #6
    Fantastic Member Last Son's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tzigone View Post
    If you are interested, there are episodes of the radio show freely available. As was said, it introduced Perry and Jimmy. And Jimmy was kid. I liked his characterization, generally. And liked him as a reporter better than as a photographer. He really didn't appear much in the comics until the mid-1950s.

    As for Superman's powers - it's quite a while before they all settle down. Don't even think he got a proper "heat vision" (separate from x-ray vision) until the 1960s.

    Looking it up, looks like Daily Planet first appeared in Action Comics #23 and Perry in Superman #7. Haven't read it. They kinda cheat with Jimmy, if I recall. I could be misremembering, but it seem like several differently-rendered nameless copy boys were later retconned to be Jimmy.
    I'd heard that, that there were unnamed Jimmy-like characters before he was explicitly named in the radio show. But I feel like he's not actually Jimmy Olsen until he's called Jimmy Olsen.

  7. #7
    Mighty Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    Jimmy was in the baby and archer issues for the first time in superman comics.superman issue#13
    I'd heard that, that there were unnamed Jimmy-like characters before he was explicitly named in the radio show. But I feel like he's not actually Jimmy Olsen until he's called Jimmy Olsen.
    Right on both accounts, I think. I know he's listed in some sources as first appearing in Action #6 three years earlier, but I don't really think of that as Jimmy.

  8. #8
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    The Daily Planet debuted in the newspapers, Nov of 1939. But like with many things the familiar details filled in over time.

    The flight IMO was in 1947. You might say that he was flying before then, but the depiction generally stuck to motion lines and postures implying that he was going up or down and not often breaking a normal arc when changing trajectory except when swooping down (like into windows fot example). By late 1947/early '48 he not only had something of a horizontal flight posture but also a signature trick: time travel, which explicitly relied on being able to change his angle, stay in the air, and accelerate indefinitely.

    As it's been said other media was really an influence but those things weren't cleanly incorporated into the comics. Those later stories I mention just recently got reprinted in the Golden Age Omnibus vol 6.
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  9. #9
    Astonishing Member Adekis's Avatar
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    I would argue it wasn't long at all 'til he was flying, but it also wasn't consistent across media. In like the first or second ever comic where he goes up against Luthor, in 1940, Superman agrees to fly faster and higher than Luthor's super-science plane can as a bet, which he wins. Now you can argue that he's really leaping and not flying at all, but he always seemed to be flying to me. Meanwhile, you got the radio show where he shouts "Up! Up! And Away!" every time he takes off. Now maybe he's meant to be jumping, but the wooshing noise doesn't modulate or get interrupted with intermittent traffic sounds or thuds as he lands and jumps back up. It's just "Up, up!" and then, later, "Down! Down" as he comes in for a landing. That radio show also started in 1940.

    I wouldn't argue for a date as late as 1947 at all. I think that's about seven years too late - but fair point, Gene Luen Yang seems to think he's still leaping in 1946, as he writes in Superman Smashes the Klan:

    Quote Originally Posted by Lois Lane, "Superman Smashes the Klan"
    ...Even Superman has his limits. The highest he's ever leapt is twenty stories. It's not like he can fly.
    This despite the fact that Superman leaps well into the upper atmosphere in a 1942 strip, in order to clear his head of a hypnotist's control... That statement is vaguely independent of my claim that Superman was flying by 1940, but certainly he was at least jumping Near To Space, rather than just twenty stories max. But! I'm not complaining! Superman Smashes the Klan is the best Superman book I've read in years!
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  10. #10
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adekis View Post
    I would argue it wasn't long at all 'til he was flying, but it also wasn't consistent across media. In like the first or second ever comic where he goes up against Luthor, in 1940, Superman agrees to fly faster and higher than Luthor's super-science plane can as a bet, which he wins. Now you can argue that he's really leaping and not flying at all, but he always seemed to be flying to me.
    Being so far separated in time from it, the golden age blurs a little easily for me. The best I can do is remember the particularly weird scenes that I guess you might see popularly referenced here and there on the net (face shifting kinda stuff) and kinda guess the time by art details. For flying I guess I see stuff like the yellow lining boots. And the hang time given by guys I assume are Dobrotka and Sikela. It got pretty serious by 1947

    The very early days where it had the very old house style, he'd be in huge splits on or right off ground pretty regularly. Back then Superman would "race," like he did against that Luthor plane, and for weird details he would not only flip over things to get around off ground, but actually fall if he had gone up vertically. But even then with the slow, random, inconsistent power creep, I guess he was still more powerful than he seems to be credited.


    This despite the fact that Superman leaps well into the upper atmosphere in a 1942 strip, in order to clear his head of a hypnotist's control... That statement is vaguely independent of my claim that Superman was flying by 1940, but certainly he was at least jumping Near To Space, rather than just twenty stories max. But! I'm not complaining! Superman Smashes the Klan is the best Superman book I've read in years!
    I think the next one comes out this Wednesday, while I really need to read more of the first.
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  11. #11
    Astonishing Member Adekis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    The very early days where it had the very old house style, he'd be in huge splits on or right off ground pretty regularly. Back then Superman would "race," like he did against that Luthor plane, and for weird details he would not only flip over things to get around off ground, but actually fall if he had gone up vertically. But even then with the slow, random, inconsistent power creep, I guess he was still more powerful than he seems to be credited.
    Yeah, I definitely know what you mean about the splits or racing along the ground, like he's sprinting with huge hangtime between steps. At the same time though, in Superman # 17 from '42 (I read it last night for fun, rather than as a rigorous search for the first flight or anything like that, so there's probably other examples of this) he seems to be drawn as jumping like you describe, but he also seems to say at one point that he can change direction in mid-jump. I don't think it's the first time he mentions this power, and I think he's even drawn doing it here and there, but I'm not fully sure. On account of weird stuff like that, I'd consider Superman's power to fly as at least in progress by '42, even if the way it's drawn is still closer to jumping or leaping. Wild!




    I think the next one comes out this Wednesday, while I really need to read more of the first.
    It does! I'm so excited!
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  12. #12
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Yeah... leaping 1/8 of a mile is an incredible feat but I think it's nothing compared to what came soon enough. By 1942 he could even move at invisible speeds, so I'm sure the process of flying had started by then intentionally or not.

    I meant to say in my first post that what separates Superman #48's "Autograph Please!" from examples around the time of (but not necessarily influenced by) the cartoon is the at-will, indefinite shifting about in midair. From what I remember of the Fleischer stuff, he seemed to move more freely and cover more distance than in the early few years of comics, and would curve in ways you couldn't if you just jumped really hard. The comics seemed to hit that point first but that gliding is still something I see differently than what we have regularly. And then I guess he was outright flying in their later shorts?

    When I was looking online it said his first "official" flight was Action Comics#65, but I don't think there was anything official about it. My best visual indicator is whenever his descent stopped guaranteeing a landing. The Overstreet pick, Action Comics #123, specifically calls it flying.
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  13. #13

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    Superman's flight was a gradual transition. He really just stopped landing whenever he leaped and then eventually it became he could fly.

    The newspaper changed the Daily Star to the Daily Planet, and the comics adapted it from there.

  14. #14
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Since, we are talking about flight. I believe golden age comics does a better job at capturing superman's movements. Superman jumping around and even the flight was like gliding.i feel current writers and artists should start focusing on it a lot more. There was so many changes to his posture and movements during a single jump, it felt really amazing to look at.

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