"FASTER THAN A SPEEDING BULLET, RED CAPE STREAMING IN THE WIND…": FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST SUPERMAN NOVEL, IN ORIGINAL DUST JACKET
LOWTHER, George. The Adventures of Superman. New York: Random House, (1942). Octavo, original red cloth, original dust jacket. $3000.
First edition of the first novel starring Superman—"strong and invincible, nemesis of evil-doers"—illustrated by the character's co-creator Joe Shuster with four full-page color plates and numerous black-and-white illustrations.
"Listen to me, son… It strikes me now. I called ye a—a superman, and that's what ye be. Remember that. You're Superman!" (page 57). Boyhood friends Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created America's first and most iconic comic book superhero. The Man of Steel debuted in Action Comics #1 (1938). He soon made the leap to radio, cinema and prose, and his "dynamic personality… [became] incorporated into Western contemporary mythology" (Clute & Nicholls, 1183). This first Superman novel, penned by the scriptwriter and director of "The Adventures of Superman" radio series, demonstrates the character's never-ending ability to reflect the concerns of the day: In wartime America, our hero investigates sunken submarines and hunts down enemy spies. With frontispiece, illustrated title page, nine full-page illustrations (four in color) and numerous in-text illustrations.
Book near-fine, with inner paper hinges repaired, a few faint marginal finger smudges, and cloth generally quite nice. Dust jacket extremely good, with faint soiling and light wear to extremities. A most desirable copy.