Previously in the pages of “To Be Continued...
” we explored the earliest innovations that brought Superman to the gridded page and changed pop culture forever.
After his two previous fanzine appearances, Superman shot to the top of the pops when Action Comics #1, debuted in the year of 1938. The high-jumping strongman could run fast and hear extremely well, but wasn’t quite as powerful as the character we know today. He wore a triangular (as opposed to the now-iconic pentagonal) S-Shield on his chest couldn’t fly until the early 1940s, nor did he have X-Ray or Heat Vision.
In his initial DC version Superman could leap an eighth of a mile, jump over a twenty story, lift tremendous weights, run faster than an express train and nothing less than a bursting shell could penetrate his flesh. Impressive and envious traits, all, but by the end of the 1940s, he was outrunning speeding bullets, not just trains, breaking the sound barrier with his speed, flying around the world, able to melt just about anything with his heat vision, see through about anything except lead with his x-ray vision and beyond and even surviving a nuclear blast (and capturing it on film). Thus the ordinary criminals he once punched and fought were no longer much of a threat to this “Man of Tomorrow”... who could stand up to such a powerful hero with no Achilles heel?